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WSìiìg s S^ranslatton 










■Told sr 


Mrs. MacGeachy 

Gaelic , 

• • • 

John Mackinnon, stable-boy 
Donald Macintvre 

Notes ,..., 



Donald MacPhie, S. Uist ... 
Kenneth MacLennan 



• •• 

John Mackenzie, fisherman 

« •• 

• •• 

Alex. McDonald, tenant, and 

• •• 

• ... 


• • • 



W. Ross, stalker 

Gaelic ,,., 

Notes , 


Gaelic .•• 





Gaelic » 


Twenty-nine Fairy Stories 

Various sources 


Alex. M'Donald. etc ... . 


• • • 

• •• 

• •• 

• •• 

An old carter. Jnhn 



2. Big Black John 

3. The Red Book 

4. How the Book was eot 





Apri] 1869 


Sept. 6) 1859 


Sept. 1860. 

July 1859 


April 1859 

July 1859 

Sept 1860. 


• • • 


• • • 


JiUy 1859 




May, Argyll 

• • » 

Broadford, Skye 



• •• 

Tomaid, Ross 


. ••• 



• • • 








Various parts of Scotland 

• •• 

• *• 


• • • 

• •• 




Hector MacLean ... 

• • • 

V« £• \jm ••••••••••••••• 

J. F. C 


Hector Urquliart ... 

• •• 


• •• 

• •• 

Hector MacLean and 
J. F. C. 


• • • 





Bey. T. Pattison ... 
Different Collectors 
Hector MacLean ... 


A member of the 

Ossianic Society. 

• •• 

Hector Urquhart ... 
























6. Headless Tnmk 

6. The Bauchan 

7. The Herdsman 

8. Uistean Mor and the Earl of 

Antrim's Daughter. 

9. Do. and the Goat 

10. Same Story 


2. Same Story .». 

3. Do 

4. The Last of the Giants 

6. Do 



Gaelic : 









Notes » * 


10 Stories 





Told by 

A dancing master *.... 


Johanna MacCrimmon 

John Campbell 

Alex. Ma>onald 



MacDonald, tinker 

Several men 

A gamekeeper 

Hngh MacColl, gardener ... 

Alexander MacNeill, tenant 

Mrs. MacTavish 


Thomas MacDonald^ game- 

Alexander MacNeilli tenant 
and fisherman. 

• •• 

• •• 

Alexander MacNeill .t..^.... 

■ •• 

• •• 

Widow Calder *.... 

Various sources 

Donald Shaw, old soldier ... 

Hector Boyd, fisherman 






August 1859 


August 1859 





Strathgairloch , 



Inverary .. 
Soath Uist 

Ceann Tangval, Barra 



John CampbeU, Esq. 

of Eilberry. 


Hector MacLean ... 

Hector Urquhart ... 


Hector MacLean *.. 




H. MacCoU 

Dnnrobin, Sutherland. 




Sutherland, Islay, etc. 



Hector MacLean ... 


Mrs. MacTayish 


v. JS t V^.... ••***•.•...»•.. 

Hector MacLean ».. 




CD. ... 
C D. Ac. 

Hector MacLean ... 





















2. Bibin Robin, &c 

8. Brian Briagach 

4. £obhan lurrach 


Gaelic ' 

2. The Clever Thii"*'.!!.'.'!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

3. The Clever Thief. 

4. The Big Weaver 













Notes and References 



Stories about Serpents, etc. 




A lot of Riddles 

Told by 

Donald MacLean 

Margaret Mackinnon 

• •• 

• •• 

Donald MacLean 

• •• 

Donald MacCraw, drover ... 

Alexander Macalister 

• • • 

Mrs. MacGeachy, Islay 


John Mac Don aid, travelling 

• • • 

John Dewar 



Donald MacPhie and Donald 

John Dewar 


Angus Campbell, quarryman 

various sources 

John Campbell 

Hector MacLean..., 

Brothers MacCraw 

Various sources 




1859 and I860 

April I860 







North Uist '!!... 






• •• 

• •• 




• •t 

• •• 

South Uist 


• •• 

• •• 




Islay „ 

North Uist 



Rev. Mr.M*Lauchlan 
Hector MacLean ... 
John Dewar 

Rev. Mr. M'Lanchlan 



Hector MacLean 

Hector MacLean ... 

Hector Urquhart ... 

J. Dewar 

J. F. C. 

J. Dewar, 



Hector Urquhart ... 
Hector MacLean ... 

J. F. C 

Hector MacLean ... 























Kotes etc 



2. Notes, Abstracts, etc 

For intervening Stories, see XVII 
a, bj c, d, in Volume L 


Told by 

Alex. MacNeill, fisherman... 


John MacGilvray, labourer, 
Colonsay, and Alexander 
Campbell, farmer, Islaj. 


John Campbell, piper, and 
others latelj. 









laiaj and Colonsay 












V • J? • Xjf •••••••**••• ••• 






From Mrs MacG^achy, Islaj. 

~DEEOEE this there was a king, and he wished 
-■-^ to see his son with a wife before he should depart 
Hifl son said he had better go for a wife ; and he gaye 
him half a hundred pounds to get her. He went for- 
ward the length of a day, and when the night came he 
went in to a hostelry to stay in it He went down to a 
chamber with a good fire in front of him ; and when he 
had gotten meat^ the man of the house went down to 
talk to him. He told the man of the house the jour- 
ney on which he was. The man of the house told 
him he need not go further ; that there was a little 
house opposite to his sleeping chamber ; that the man 
of the house had three fine daughters ; and if he would 
stand in the window of his chamber in the morning, 
tiiat he would see one after another coming to dress 
fierseK That they were all like each other, and that 
he could not distinguish one from the other, but that 

/7 VOL. IL B 


the eldest had a mole. That many were going to ask 
for them, but that none got them, because whoever 
wished for one, must tell whether the love he liked 
best was younger or older ; and if he made her out, 
that she would cost him a hundred pounds. " I have 
but half a hundred," said the king's son. " I will 
give thee another half hundred," said the man of the 
house, " if thou wilt pay me at the end of a day and a 
year ; and if thou dost not pay me, a strip of sldn shall 
come from the top of thy head to the sole of thy foot." 

On the morrow when he rose he went to the win- 
dow ; he saw the girls coming to dress themselves ; 
and after meat in the morning, he went over to the 
house of their father. When he went in he was taken 
down to a chamber, and the man of the house went 
down to talk to him. He told the journey oa 
which he was, and he said to him, " They tell 
me that thou hast three fine daughters." " I have that 
same, but I am afraid that it is not thou who wilt buy 
them." " I will give them a trial, at all events," said 
he. The three were sent down before him, and it was 
said to him *' Whether she, the one he liked bestj was 
the elder or younger." He thought he would take the 
one with the mole, because he knew she was the eldest. 
She then was much pleased that it was she herseK he 
was for. He asked her father how much she would 
be, and her father said she would be a hundred pounds. 
Ho bought her, and he took her to the house of his 
father, and they married. Shortly after they married 
his father departed. 

A day' or two after the death of the old king, the 
young king was out hunting ; he saw a great ship 
coming in to the strand ; he went down to ask the 
captain what he had on board. The captain said, 
'* That he had a cargo of silk." " Thou must," said 


he, " give me a gown of the best silk thou hast for my 
wifa" " Indeed !" said the captain, " thou must have 
an exceedingly good wife when thou must have a gown 
of the best silk I have on board." " I have that," 
said the king, " a wife many of whose equals are not 
to be got" " Wilt thou lay a wager," said the cap- 
tain, "that with all her goodness I will not get 
leave to enter thy chamber Ì" "I will lay a wager, 
anything thou desiredstj that thou wilt not" " What 
wager wilt thou lay ?" said the captain. " I will put 
the heirship in pledge," said the king. Said the cap- 
tain, " I will put all the silk in ship in pledge to thee 
that I wilL" The captain came on shore and the king 
went on board. 

The captain went where the hen wife was, to try 
if she could make any way to get in with to king's 
chamber that night. The henwife thought a while, 
and she said " That she did not think that there was 
any way that would succeed." The captain rose here, 
and he was going. " Stop thou," said she, " I have 
thought on a way ; her maid servant and I are well 
with each other ; I will say to her that I have got word 
from a sister of mine that I will scarce find her alive ; 
I will say to the king's wife that I must go to see my 
sister ; that I have a big kist, of good worth, and I 
should like if she would oblige me and let it into her 
own sleeping chamber till I come back." She went 
where the queen was, she asked her this, and she got 
leave. Here the captain was put into the kist^ and 
the king's gUlies were gathered, and the kist put in 
the chamber. The kin^s wife was within by herself 
wearying, for the king was not coming home. At 
last she went to bed ; when she was going to bed 
she put a gold ring that was on her finger, and a gold 
chain that was about her neck, on a board that was op- 


posite to the bed. When the man who was in the kist 
thought that she had time to be asleep, he rose and he 
took with him the chain and the ring, and he went 
into the kist again. At the mouth of day came the 
hen wife to ask for the kist ; the gillies were gathered, 
and the kist was taken down. When every one went 
from the house, as soon as he could, the captain rose 
and he went down to the ship ; he shook the chain 
and the ring at the king. Then the king thought that 
the captain had been with his wife, or that he could 
not have the chain and ring. He said to the captain, 
*' Would he put him over to the other side of the 
loch r The captain said, " That he would." When 
the captain got him over he returned himself, and he 
went to dwell in the king's house. Then the king's 
wife did not know what to do with herself for that 
the king had not come home. She went that day and 
she dressed herself in man's clothes, and she went 
down to the strand ; she met with a boat^ and she 
said to them, " Would they put her over on the other 
side Ì" They put her over, and she went on forward 
till she reached the house of a gentleman ; she struck 
in the door, and the maid servant came down. She 
said to her, " Did she know if her master wanted a 
stable gillie?" The maid servant said, "That she did 
not know, but that she would ask." The maid servant 
went and she asked her master if he wanted a stable 
gillie. He said, " He did ;" and he asked that he 
should come in ; he engaged her, and she stayed work- 
ing about the stable. There was a herd of wild beasts 
coming every night, and going into an empty bam 
that the gentleman had ; a wild man after them, and 
his face covered with beard. She kept asking her mas- 
ter to send a man with her, and that they would catch 
him. Her master said, " That he would not ; that 


they had no business with them ; and that he had not 
done any harm to them." She went out one night by 
herself and she stole with her the key of the bam 
door ; she lay hid in a hole till the wild man and the 
beasts went in ; she took with her the gUHes, and they 
caught the wild man. They brought him in and they 
took off his beard ; when the beard came off him she 
knew him, but she took no notice ; and he did not 
know her. On the morrow he was about to go, but 
she spoke to her master to keep hiTn ; that the work 
was too heavy on her, and that she needed help. Her 
master ordered her to keep him. She kept him with 
her, and he himself and she were cleaning the stable. 

A short time after this she spoke to her master for 
leave to go home on a trip to see her Mends. Her 
master gave her leave. She said she would like well 
to have her gillie with her, and the two best horses 
that were in the stable. 

When they went^ she was questioning him by the 
way what had made him go with these beasts ; or 
what he was at before the day. He would not tell 
her anything. They went on forward till they came 
to the hostelry where he had got the half hundred 
pounds. When she set her face down to the house, 
he refused to go into it She said to him, '^ Did he 
do anything wrong, as he was refasing to go into it." 
He said, " That he had got half a hundred pounds 
from the man of the house." She said to him, " Had 
he paid them ;" and he said^ " That he had not paid, 
and that a strip of skin was to come from the top of 
his head to the sole of his foot, if it was not paid at 
the end of a day and a year." She said, " It would 
be well deserved ; but that she was going to stay the 
night in the hostelry, and that she must go down." 
She asked him to put the horses into the stable, and 

■» IW ■ "<"' '■"' 


they went in to the hostelry. He was standing in the 
door of the stahle, and his head was bent, tìie man 
of the house came out, and he saw him. " My big 
gillie, I haye thee here," said the man of the house ; 
" art thou going to pay me to-day 1" " I am not," 
said he. Then he went in, and they were going to 
begin to cut the strip of skin. She heard the noise, 
and she asked what they were going to do to her 
gillie. They said, " They were going to cut a strip of 
skin off him from his crown to his sole." " K that 
was to be done," said she, " he was not to lose a 
drop of blood ; send up here a web of linen, let him 
stand on it, and if a drop of blood comes out of him, 
another strip of skin shall come off thee." Here 
there was nothing for it but to let him go \ they 
could not make anything of it Early on the mor- 
row she took him over with her to the house of her 
father. If he was against going to the hostelry the 
night before, he was seven times as much when going 
to her father's house. " Didst thou do harm here too, 
as thou art against going in T " I got a wife here 
such a time since." " What came of her ?" " I don't 
know." " J^o wonder whatever happens to thee, thou 
hast only to put up with all that comes thy way." 
When her father saw him, he said, " I have thee here ! 
Where is thy wife 1" " I don't know where she is." 
" What didst thou to her 1" said her father. He could 
not tell what he had done to her. ]S"ow there was 
nothing to be done but to hang him to a tree. There 
was to be a great day about the hanging, and a great 
many gentlemen were to come to see it She asked 
her father what they were going to do to her gillie. 
Her father said, " liat they were going to hang hÌTn ; 
he bought a wife from me, and he does not know what 
has happened to her." She went out to see the gentles 


coming in to the town ; she asked of the one of the 
finest horse, what was his worth. " Five score," said 
ha "Though he were five hundreds, he's mine," said 
she. She told her servant to put a shot in the horse. 
She asked her father if he had paid for his wife. He 
said he had paid " If he paid," said she, " thou hast 
no business with him, he might do what he liked with 
her; I bought the finest horse that came into the 
town to-day ; I made my gillie put a shot in him, 
and who dares to say that it is ilL" Here there was 
nothing to be done but to let him loose. They qould 
do nothing to him because he had bought her. 

Here she went in to her father's house, and she 
told one of her sisters to give her a gown. " What 
art thou going to do with a gown V* said she. " Never 
mind, if I spoil it I'll pay for it" When she put on 
the gown her father and sisters knew her. Her father 
and sisters told him that it was she was with him, 
and he did not believe them. She put off the woman's 
clothes and put on the man's clothes again. They 
went, herself and he ; they went on forward till they 
were near his own old house. " ]S"ow," said she, " we 
will stay here to-night ; do thou sit at the top of the 
stair, and thou shalt set down all the talk that I and the 
man of the house will have." When they went in and 
sat, she and the man of the house began to talk to- 
gether. " I thought," said she to the captain, " that a 
king was dwelling here ; how didst thou get it Ì" " He 
was that who was here before ; but I am thinking, as 
thou art a stranger, that I may tell thee how I got it" 
" Thou mayest," said she, " I wiU not make a tale of 
thee, the matter does not touch me." He told her 
every turn, how the hen wife had put him in the kist, 
and the rest of the matter, to the going of the king on 
the morrow. 


Very early on the morrow the man of the house 
was going to court ; he said to her " That if she was 
not in a hurry to go away, that she might go with him 
to listen to the court." She said "she would be 
willing, and she would like well that her gillie should 
be with her." She went in the coach with the cap- 
tain, and her giUie rode after her. When the court 
was over she said, " That she had got a word or two to- 
say, if it were their pleasure to let her speak." They said 
to her, " To let them hear what she had to say." She 
said to her gillie, " Eise up and give them the paper 
thou wrotest last night" When they read the paper, 
she said, " What should be done to that man V* 
" Hang him, if he were here," said they. 

" There you have him," said she, " do with him 
what you wUL" Herself and the king got back to 
their own house, and they were as they were before. 


Bha righ ann roimhe so, 's bha toil aige bean fhaidnn aig a mhac 
ma'n sihbhladh e. Thuirt e r'a mhac gam b' fhearra dha folbh airson 
mnatha, 's thug e dha leith chiad punnd airson a faotainn. Ghoisich 
e air aghaidh fad latha ; 's nur a thainig an oidhche chaidh e stigh 
do thigh òsd* airson fantainn ann. Chaidh e sios do sheombar, *8 
gealbhan math air a bheulthaobh ; 's nnr a fhuair e *bhiadh chaidh 
fear an tighe sios a chomhnadal ris. Dh' innia e do' dh' fbear an tighe 
an turas air an robh e. Thuirt fear an tighe ris nach ruigeadh e leas 
dol na b' fhaide ; gu' robh tigh beag ma choinneamh an t-seombair 
chadail aige ; gu' robh tri nigheanan gasd' aig fear an tighe ; agus 
na 'n seasadh e 'n uinneag a sheombair anns a' mhadainn, gu' faioeadh 
e te an d^igh te 'tighinn a 'h-^ideadh f^in. Gu' robh iad air fad cos- 
mhuil r'a' ch^ile, 's nach aithneachadh e eadar te seach te ; ach an te 
'bu shine, gu' robh ball dòrain urra. Gurobh mòran a' dol g*an iarr- 
aidh, ach nach robh gin 'gam faotainn ; a thaobh gu' feimiadh neacfa 
a bhiodh air son h-aon diu innseadh co dhiu a bl an te d'an robh tait- 


neachd aige b' òige na' bu shine; 's na'n dèanadh e mach i gnn cosd- 
adh i dha ciad punnd. <* Gba 'n *eil agams' ach leith chiad/' ursa 
mac an ligh. ** Bheir mise dhuit leith chiad eile," nrsa fear an tighe, 
"ma phàigheaa thu mi 'n oeann la is bliadhna ; 's mar am pàigh thig 
iaU o mhnllach do chinn gu bonn do choise." Nur a dh' èirìdh e 'u 
U 'r na mhàireach cbaidh e gns an uinneig. Chnnnaic e na nigbe- 
anan a* tighinn a'n eideadh fein, 's an d^igh a bbidh 'sa mhadainn 
chaidh e nunii gu tigh an athar. Nur a cbaidh e stigh chaidh a 
thoirt 8Ì08 do sheombar, 's chaidh fear an tighe sios a cbomhnadal ris. 
Dh' innis e 'n turns air an robh e, 's thuirt e ris, ** Tha iad ag ràdh 
rìnm gu' bheil tri nigheanan brèagh agad." *' Tha sin fèin agam ; 
ach tha eagal orm nach tosa 'cheannaicbeas iad." ** Bheir mi feucb- 
ainn dhaibh," urs' esan. Chaidh an tri chuir sios ma 'choinneamh, *b 
a ràdh na, cò^ca a b'i 'n te d*an gabhadh e taitneachd an te bu shine 
na 'n te b' òige. Smaoinich e gu*n gabhadh e t^ a' bhall dòrain ; o'n 
a bha fhios aige gur h-i 'bu shine. Ghabh ise an sin toil-inntinn 
mhòr gnr h>i fein a bha e air a shon. Dh* fheòraich e d'a b-athair oo 
mhiod a bhitheadh i, 's thuirt a h-athair gum biodh i ciad punnd. 
Cheannaich e i, 's thug e leis i gu tigh athar, 's phòs iad. 6<Hrid an 
dèigh dhaibh pbsadh shiubbail athair. 

Latha na dha an deigh has an t-sean rìgh, bha 'n righ òg a roach 
a' Malgaireachd. Chnnnaic e long mhòr a* tighinn a stigh thun a' 
chladaich. Chaidh e ^ps a dh' fheòraìch de 'n chaibhtinn de 'bha 
aige air bbrd. Thuirt an caibhtinn gu' robh luchd sioda. ** Feum- 
«dh ta/'.urs' esan, *'guthann de 'n t-sioda 's fheàrr a th' agad a 
thoirt dhòmhsa airson mo mhnatha." " Seadh," urs' an caibhtinn, 
*'feamaidh gu' bheil bean fhuathasach mhath agadsa, nur a dh' 
fhenmaa i guthann de'n t-sioda is fhekrr a th' agamsa air bòrd." 
** Tha sin agam," urs' an rìgh, ** bean nach 'eil mòran d'a leithidean, 
r*a fhaortainn." " An cuir thu gealV urs' an caibhtinn, '* a' h-uile 
mathas a th' urra, nach fhaigh mise dol a laidhe leatha nochd ? " 
** Cuiridh mi geall, ni 'sam bith a shanntaicheas thu, nach fhaigh." 
*' D4 'n geall a chuireas tu ? " urs' an caibhtinn. ** Cuiridh mi 'n 
oi^ireachd an geall," urs' an ligh. Urs' an caibhtinn, ** Cuindh mise 
na bheil de shioda 'san long an geall riutsa gu'm faigh." Thàinig 
an caibhtinn air tir, *s chaidh an righ air bòrd. Chaidh an caibhtinn 
far an robh cailleach nan cearc feuch an dèanadh i dòigh 'sam bith 
air 'fhaotainn a stigh le bean an ligh an oidhche sin. Smaointich 
4»aillftai»h nan cearc tacan, 's thuirt i nach robh dhil aice gu' robh 
dòìgh 'sam bith a dhèanadh feum. Dh' èiridh an caibhtinn an sin, 's 
bha e '&lbh. *' Stad ort," urs' ise, « smaointich mi air dòigb." Tha 
'n searbhannt aice 's mi fein gu math mbr. Their mi ritbe gu'n d' 


fhaair mi fios o pfainthar dhomh nach beirinn beò urra. Their mi 
ri bean an ligh gu' feam mi folbb a dh' fbaidnn mo pheathar; ga 
'bheil dsde mbòr agam gn math Inachar, a bu mhath leam, na'n 
laghasachadh i dhomh, a leigeil d'a seombar cadail fèin gas an till 
mi." Chaidh i far an robh 'bhannghinn; dh* f heòraich i so dhi, 
's fhnair i cead. Chaidh an so an caibhtinn achnr a stigh do'n chisde, 
's gillean an righ a chroinneachadh, 's a' chisde' dmr do *n t-seombar. 
Bha bean an rìgh a stigh leatha fèin, 's fodal urra nach robh an ligh 
a' tighinn dachaidh. Ma dheireadh chaidh i 'laidhe. Nor a bha i 
'dol a laidhe chnir i fàìnne òir a bha air a meur, agns slabhraidh òir 
a bha ma 'maineal air bòrd a bha ma choinneamh na leapa. Nxu a 
smaointich am fear a bha 'sa' chisde ga* robh iiine aice *blù 'na cadal, 
dh* èiridh e, s thag e leis an t-slabhraidh 's am fàinne, 's chaidh e 
stigh do'n chisde a rithisd. Am beal an lath a thàinig cailleach nan 
cearc a dh' iarraidh a cisde. Chaidh na gillean a chroinneachadh 
*s a' chisde 'thoirt a naas. Nor dh* fholbh a* h-uile daine o'n tigh> 
cho loath sa' ba lear dha, dh* èirìdh an caibhtimi, 's dh' fholbh e sios 
than na lainge. Chrath e'n t-slabhraidh *8 am flunne ris an ligh. 
Smaointich an ligh an sin gan d'thoair an caibhtinn a stigh le a 
bhean, no nach biodh an t-slabhraidh *8 am fìiinne aige. Thoirt e ria 
a' chaibhtinn an coireadh e nonn e gas an taobh eile de'n loch. 
Thoirt an caibhtinn gon coireadh. Nor a f hoair an caibhtinn 
thairis e, thill ef^in 's chaidh e 'chòmhnoidh do thigh an ligh. 

Bha bean an rìgh an sin 's gon f hios aice d^ a dhèanadh i rithe 
f^in, o'n nach d' thàinig an righ dhachaidh. Dh' fholbh i 'n latha 
sin, 's dh' èid i 1 f^in ann an aodach fir, 's chaidh i sios thon a' chlad- 
aich. Thacluùr bata orra, 's thoirt i rio an coireadh iad ise a nann 
air an taobh eile. Choir iad a nonn i, 's ghabh i air a h-aghaidh goa 
an d* ràinig i tigh doine oasaiL Bhoail i 'san donis, 's thkinig aa 
searbbannt* a noas. Thoirt i rithe an robh f hios aice an robh gille 
stiiboUl a dhith air a maighstir. Thoirt an searbhannta nach robh 
fbios aice, ach go 'foighneachdadh i. Chaidh an searbhanta *s dh' 
fheòraich i d'a maighstir, an robh gille stàboill a dhith air. Thoirt e 
gon robh, agos dh' iarr e e 'thighinn a stigh. Dh* f hasdaidh e i, 'a 
dh' fhan i *g obair ma'n stàboll. Bha 'n sin trend de bheathaichean 
fiadhaich a' tìghinn a' h-oile h-oidhche, 's a' dol a stigh do shabhal 
fas a bha aig an doine oasal, 's doine fiadhaich as an d^gh, *s aod- 
ann còmhdaichte le feosaig. Bha ise ag iarraidh air a maighstir 
na'n coireadh iad doine leatha, gam beireadh iad air. Thoirt a 
maighstir nach coireadh, nach robh gnothoch aca ris, 's nach d* 
rinn e coire 'sam bith orra. Dh' fholbh ise mach oidhche leatha 
f^in, 's ghoid i leatha iachair dorois an t-sabhaiL Laidh i 'm falach 


ann an toll gas an deachaidh an duine fiadhaich agns ua beathaichean 
a stigh. Thug i leatba na gillean, 's rng iad air an duine fhiadh- 
aich. Thng iad a stigh e, 's thng iad dheth an f heusag. Nnr a 
ihàinig an f heusag dheth dh' aithnich ise e, ach cha do leig i md sam 
bith urra, 's cha d' aithnich esan ise. An la 'r na mhaireach bha e' 
dol a dh' f holbb, ach bhruidhinn ise r'a maighstir airson a ghleidh- 
eadh, gu'n robh an obair tnillidh is trom urra, 's gu 'feunadh 1 
enideachadh. Dh' òrduich a maighstir dhi 'ghleidheadh. Ghl^idh i 
leath 'e, 's bha e fein agus ise a' glanadh an stàbuill. 

Beagan bine W dhèigh so bhruidhinn i r'a maighstir, airson cead 
a dhol dhachaidh air sgiiob a dh' f haicinn a càirdean. Thug a 
maighstir cead dhi. Thuirt i gu*m bu mhath leatha a gille, 's an da 
each a V f heàrr a bh' ann 's an stàbull a bhi leatha. Nur a dh' 
f holbh iad bha i 'ga cheasnachadh air an rathad ; àè thug dha bhi 
folbh leis na beathaichean ud, na de bha e ris an toiseach a latha. 
Cha 'n innseadh e ni sam bith dhi. Ghabh iad air an aghaidh gus 
an d* thàinig iad gus an tigh òsda far an d' thuair esan an leith cMad 
punnd. Nur a thug ise a h-aghaidh sios gus an tigh, dhiult esan 
a dhol ann. Thuirt i ris an d' rinn e ni sam bith cekrr, nur a bha e 
dihltainn dol ann. Thuirt e gun d' thuair e leith chiad punnd o fhear 
an tighe. Thuirt i ris an do phaigh e iad, 's thuirt e nach do phàigh, 
's gu'n robh iall ri tighinn o mhullach a chinn gu bonn a choise, mar 
am biodh e pMghte an ceann la is bliadhna. Thuirt i gum bu mhath 
an aindh ; ach gu' robh ise a' dol a dh' fhant^n 's an tigh òsda 'san 
oidhche, 's gu' feumadh e dol sios. Dh' iarr i air na h-eich a chur a 
stigh 'san stàbull, 's chaldh end a stigh do 'n tigh òsda. Bha esan 'na 
sheasamh ann an dorus an stàbuill, 's a cheann crom. Thainig fear 
an tighe mach 's chunnaic e e. " Mo ghille mòr tha thu an so 
agam." ursa fear an tighe. "Am bheil thu' dol am' phàigheadh an 
diugh? " ** Cha 'n 'eil/' urs' esan. Chaidh e 'sin a stigh, 's bha iad 
a' dol a thbiseachd air an iall a ghekrradh. Chual ise an fhuaim, 
's dh' fbeòraich 1 gu d^ 'l^ha iad a' dol a dhèanadh air a gille. Thuirt 
iad gun robh iad a' dol a ghearradh iall deth o mhullach gu bonn. 
" Ma bha sin r'a dhèanadh," urs' ise, ** cha robh e ri deur fola a chaU." 
** Cuir an nuas an so lion aodoch, a's seasadh e air, 's ma thig deur fola 
as thig iall eile dhiotsa." Cha robh an so ach a leigeil ma sgaoil. 
Cha b' urrainn iad stugh a dhèanadh dheth. Mochthradh an la'r 
na mhMreach thug i leatha nunn e gu tigh a h-athar. Ma bha e 'n 
agh«dh dol a'n tigh bsda an oidhche roimhid, bha e seachd uairean 
na bu mhotha 'n aghaidh dol do thigh a h-athar. ** An do rinn thu 
cron an so cuideachd nur a tha thu 'n aghaidh dol ann ? " " Fhuair 
mi.bean an so o cheann a leithid do dh' tiine." " De 'thàinig urra ? " 


« Cha 'n *eil fhioa'am." «* Cha 'n iongantach d^ dh' ^ireas duit ! cha 
'n 'eil agad ach gabbail ris na thig a'd' rathad !" Nor a chuniiaic a 
h-atbair e tboirt e, *' Tha tha 'so agam ; cèdt' a* bheii do bbean?" 
" Cha 'n 'eU fhiosam càit' a' bheil i." « D^ a rinn tbu rithe?" 
urs' a b-athabr. Cha b* nrrainn e innseadh àè a rinn e rithe. 
Cha robh 'nis ach a cbrochadb ri craoibh. Bha latha mòr ri 'bhi 
timchioU a cbrochaidh, 's bha mòran de dhaoine uaisle ri tighinn 
a 'fhaicinn. Dh* fheòraich ise d'a b-athair àè 'bha iad a dol a 
dhèanadh r'a gille. Tbairt a b-athab* gu'n robh iad a' dol da 
chrocbadh. " Carson," ure' ise, *'a tha e r*a cbrochadb." " Cheann- 
aich 'e bean uamsa, 's cha 'n *eil fbios aige 64 'thàinig rithe. Dh' 
fholbh i 'mach a dh' fhaicinn nan uaislean a* tighinn a stigh do'n 
bhaile. Dh^ fheòraich i de 'n fbear a bu cbiataich' each de 'b' fbiach 
dba. ** Coig fichead," urs' esan. *' Gled a bhiodb e coig ciad 's 
leamsa e," urs* ise. Thuirt i r'a gille urchair a char 'san each. Dh' 
fheòraich i d'a h-athair an do phUgh e 'bhean. Thuirt e gun do 
phàigb. " Ma phaigh, " urs' ise, ** cha 'n 'eil gnothach agadsa ris ; 
dh'fhaodadh e'roigbinn a dhèanadh rithe. Cheannaich mise an 
t-each a bu chiataiche a thàinig a stigh do 'n bhaile an diugh. Thug 
mi air mo gbille urchair a chur ann, 's oo aig a' bbeil a chndhe a ràdh 
gur olc. Cha 'n robh 'so ach a leigeil ma sgaoil. Cha b' urrainn iad 
stugh a dhèanadh air ; o'n a cheannaich e i. 

Chaidh i an sin a stigh do thigh a h-athar, 's thuirt i ri h-aon 
d'a peathraichean guthann a thoirt dhL " De 'tha thusa 'dol a 
dbèanadh do ghuthann?" urs' ise. "Nach coma leatsa. Ma 
ni mi miUeadh air pàighidh mi e. Nur a chuir i urra an guthann dh' 
aithnich a h-athair 's a peathraichean i. Dh' innls a b-athair *s a 
peathraichean dba gur h-i 'bha leis, 's cha robh e gan creidsinn. 
Chuir i dhi an t-aodach mnatha, 's chuir i urra an t-aodach fir a 
rithisd. Dh' fholbh i f^in is esan, 's ghabh iad air an aghaidh gus an 
robh iad dliith air a shean tigh fèin. *' Nia" urs' ise^ ^'feumaidh sin 
fuireacbd an so an nochd. Suldbidh tusa air bràigh na staighreach, 
agus cuirridh tu sios gach comhnadal a bhios agams' agus aig fear 
an tighe. Nur a chaidh iad a stigh 's a shuidh iad, thòisich i fein 
agus fear an tighe air comhradh. ** Sbaoil mi," urs' i ris a' chaibbtinn, 
'* gum b' e ligh a bha 'chòmhnuidh an so. Demur 'fhuair thusa e ?'* 
" 'Se sin a bha roimhid an so ; ach tha mi smaointeacbadh, o'n a tha 
thusa a'd' choigreach, gum faod mi innseadh dhuit demur a fhuair mi 
e." " Faodaidh," urs' ise, " cha dean mise sgeul ort ; cha bhoin an 
gnothach dhomh." Dh' innis e dhi 'h-uile car mar a chuir cailleach 
nancearc a stigh 'sa bhisd' e, 's a' chuid eile de'n cbbis ; 's gun d' 
fholbh an rìgh an la 'r na mhàireach. 


Mochthrath an la 'r na mhkireach bha fear an tighe 'dol gn ctiirt. 
Thnirt e rithese, mar an robh deifir nrra a dh' fholbh, gum faodadh i 
dol leisean a dh' ^isdeachd na cUirt. Thuirt i gum biodh i toileacb, 's 
gum bn mhath leatha a gille 'bhi leatha. Chaidh ise anns a' charbad 
Ids a chaibhtinn, 's mharcaich a gille 'na d^igh. Nor a bha 'chhirt 
seachad, thnirt i gnm robh facal na dha aicese r'a ràdh, n'am b' e'n 
toil leigeil leatha bmidhinn. Thnirt iad rithe leigeil a chluinntinn 
daibh gn d^ "bha aice f& ràdh. Thuirt i r*a gille. '' Eiridh suae 's 
thoir dhaibh am paipeir sin a sgriobh thn 'rair." Nnr a leubh iad am 
paipeir, thuirt i dè 'bu choir a dhèanadh air an fhear sin. *< A 
chrochadh na'm biodh e 'n so/' urs' iadsan. '* Sin agaibh e,** nrs* ise, 
*8 deanaibh bhur roighinn ris." Fhnair i f^in 'san righ tiHeadh air 
an ais d*an tigh fèin, 's bha iad mar a bha iad roimhid. 

This was written, April 1859, by Hector MacLean, " from the 
dictation of Catherine Milloy, a Oowal woman, married to a farmer 
at Kilmenj, Islaj — one Angus MacGeachj. Mrs. MacGeachj 
learned the story from a young man who resides in Cowal, Robert 

May 1860. — ^No other version of this story has come to me as 
yet. It resembles Gymbeline in some of the incidents ; and one 
incident, that of the blood, is like Portia's defence,in the Jew of 
Venice. It is worth remark that the scene of Gymbeline is partly 
laid in Britain, partly in Italy. 

In the Decameron, 2d day, novel 9, is the Italian story from 
which Gymbeline is supposed to have originated. " Bernard of 
Grenoa is imposed upon by one Ambrose, loses his money, and 
orders his wife, who is quite innocent, to be put to death. 8he 
makes her escape, and goes in man's dress into the service of the 
Sultan ; there she meets with the deceiver, and, sending for her 
husband to Alexandria, has him punished ; she then resumes her 
former habit, and returns with her husband rich to Genoa." 

In the Decameron, the Italian merchants dispute at Paris, 
and lay a bet. *' A poor woman who frequented the house," re- 
places the Gaelic " Hen wife." The man who was hid in the 
chest took a ring, a girdle, a purse, and a gown, and in the Gaelic 
be takes a ring and a chain. The wife disguises herself as a 
man in both, hut the service which she undertakes is different ; 
and " the Sultan " is replaced by *' a gentleman." In both stories 
she discloses the cheat in open Court, — in the one, before ** the 


Sultan's court ; " in the other, *'in a court " — " to them.** But 
though there are such resemblances, the two stories differ widely 
in spirit, in incident, in scene, and in detail. Those who hold 
that old stories are handed down traditionally, will probably con- 
sider this to be one of the kind ; and if so, Shakspeare may have 
gathered his incidents at home. On the other hand, so well 
known a book as the Decameron, translated into English, 1566, 
might well account for part of the story. 

In either case it is curious to trace the resemblance and the 
difference in these three versions of what appears to be the same 
popular tale ; told by Boccaccio, Shakspeare, and a farmer's wife 
in the Highlands. If traditional, the story would seem to belong 
to a forgotten state of society. It is not now the custom to buy 
a wife, and thereby acquire the right to shoot her ; and yet this 
right is insisted on, and acknowledged, and the story hinges on 
it. It seems that the Gauls had the power of life and death over 
their families, and that there was a custom very like the purchase 
of a wife among the old Icelanders. 

There used to be, and probably there still are, certain cere- 
monies about betrothals, both in Norway and in the Highlands, 
which look like the remains of some such forgotten practice. 

In the Highlands, a man used to go on the part of the bride- 
groom to settle the dower with the bride's father, or some one 
who acted for him. They argued the point, and the argument 
gave rise to much fun and rough wit. For example, here is one 
bit of such a discussion, of which I remember to have heard long ago. 
*' This is the youngest and the last, she must be the worst ; 
you must give me a large dower, or I will not take her." 

** Men always sell the shots first when they can ; this is the 
best — ^I should give no dower at all.'' 

The first knotty point settled, and the wedding day 
fixed, the bridegroom, before the wedding day, sent a best 
man and maid to look after the bride, and gathered all his friends 
at home. The bride also gathered her friends, and her party led 
the way to church, the bride was supported by the best-man and 
best-maid, and a piper played before them. The bridegroom's 
party marched first on the way home ; and then there was a jolli- 
fication, and a ball, and some durious ceremonies with a stocking. 
The strip of skin to be cut from the debtor is mentioned in 


other stories ; and 1 believe sucli a mode of torture can be traced 
amongst the Scandinavians who once owned the Western Islands. 

In another story which I have heard, a man was to be punished 
hj cutting lAiiL, a thong, from his head to his heels, another from 
his forehead to his feet, a thong to tie them, and a thong to make 
all fast. 

TiGH OBD* is the word commonly used for an inn. It is 
probably derived from the same root as Hostelry ; Spanish, 
Osdal ; French, Hotel. 

Seombabìs pronoanced almost exactly like the French chambre 
— ^the only difference being that between the French a and the 
Gaelic o. 

Seabbhaitnt is very near the French servante. 


From Donald Macintyre, Benbecula. 

THERE was once a farmer, and he was well off. He 
had three sons. When he was on the bed of 
death he called them to him, and he said, '^ My sons, 
I am going to leave you : let there be no disputing 
when I am gone. In a certain drawer, in a dresser in 
the inner chamber, you will find a sum of gold ; 
divide it fairly and honestly amongst you, work the 
farm, and live together as you have done with me ; " 
and shortly after the old man went away. The sons 
buried him ; and when all was over, they went to the 
drawer, and when they drew it out there was nothing 
in it. 

They stood for a while without speaking a word. 
Then the youngest spoke, and he said — "There is 
no knowing if there ever was any money at all;" 
the second said — " There was money surely, wherever 
it is now ;" and the eldest said — " Our father never 
told a lie. There was money certainly, though I can- 
not understand the matter." " Come," said the eldest, 
" let us go to such an old man ; he was our father's 
friend ; he knew him well ; he was at school with 
him ; and no man knew so much of his affairs. Let 
us go to consult him. 

So the brothers went to the house of the old man, 


and they told him all that had happened. " Stay with 
me," said the old man, '' and I will think over this 
matter. I cannot understand it; but, as you know, 
your father and I were very great with each other. 
When he had children I had sponsorship, and when I 
had children he had gostjc. 1 know that your father 
neyer told a lia" And he kept them there, and he 
gaYB them meat and drink for ten days. 

Then he sent for the three young lads, and he 
made them sit down beside him, and he said— 

" There was once a young lad, and he was poor ; 
and he took love for the daughter of a rich neighbour, 
and she took love for him ; but because he was so poor 
there could be no wedding. So at last they pledged 
themselves to each other, and the young man went 
away, and stayed in his own house. After a time 
there came another suitor, and because he was well off, 
the girl's father made her promise to marry him, and 
after a time they were married. But when the bride- 
groom came to her, he found her weeping and bewail- 
ing ; and he said, * What ails thee ? ' The bride would 
say nothing for a long time ; but at last she told him 
all about it^ and how she was pledged to another man. 
'Dress thyself' said the man, *and follow me.' So 
she dressed herself in the wedding clothes, and he took 
the horse, and put her behind him, and rode to the 
house of the other man, and when he got there, he 
struck in the door, and called out, 'Is there man 
within V and when the other answered, he left the 
bride there within the door, and he said nothing, but 
he returned home. Then the man got up, and got a 
lights and who was there but the bride in her wedding 

" * What brought thee here?' said he. * Such a 
man,' said the bride. ' I was married to him to-day, 



aud when I told Tn'm of the promise we had made, he 
brought me here himself and left me.* 

" * Sit thou there/ said the man ; * art thou not mar- 
ried ?' So he took the horse, and he rode to the priest, 
and he brought him to the house, and before the priest 
he loosed the woman from the pledge she had given, 
and he gave her a line of writing that she was free, 
and he set her on the horse, and said, * Now return to 
thy husband.' 

" So the bride rode away in the darkness in her 
wedding dress. She had not gone far when she came 
to a thick wood where^ three robbers stopped and 
seized her. * Aha ! ' said one, * we have waited long, 
and we have got nothing, but now we have got the 
bride herself.' * Oh,' said she, 4et me go : let me go 
to my husband ; the man that I was pledged to has let 
me go. Here are ten pounds in gold — ^take them, and let 
me go on my journey.' And so she begged and prayed 
for a long time, and told what had happened to her. 
At last one of the robbers, who was of a better nature 
than the rest, said, * Come, as the others have done 
this, I will take you home mysel£' 'Take thou the 
money,' said she. * I wiU not take a penny,' said the 
robber ; but the other two said, * Give us the money,' 
and they took the ten pounds. The woman rode home, 
and the robber left her at her husband's door, and she 
went in, and showed hiTn the line — the writing that 
the other had given her before the priest, and they 
were well pleased." 

" Now," said the old man, " which of all these do 
you think did best Ì So the eldest son said, " I think 
the man that sent the woman to him to whom she was 
pledged, was the honest, generous man : he did well'* 
The second said, " Yes, but the man to whom she was 
pledged did still better, when he sent her to her bus- 


band" "Then," said the youngest, "I don't know 
myself ; but perhaps the wisest of all were the robbers 
who got the money." Then the old man rose up, and 
he said, " Thou hast thy father's gold and silver. I 
have kept you here for ten days ; I have watched you 
weD. I know your father never told a lie, and thou 
hast stolen the money." And so the youngest son had 
to confess the fact, and the money was got and 

I know nothing like i^o. 19. No. 20 begins like a German 
stoiy in Grimm; but the rest is anlike anything I have read 
or heard. The first part has come to me in another shape, 
from Boss-shire; and some men whom I met in South Uist 
seemed to know these incidents. 

The two belong to the class referred to in the Introduction, 
page xliii, as fourth. Many of the novels in Boccaccio might be 
ranked with the same class ; they are embryo three-volume 
novels, which only require nursing by a good writer to become 
fiiU-grown books. There are plenty of the kind throughout the 
Highlands, and, as it seems to me, they are genuine popular tra- 
ditions, human stories, whose incidents would suit a king or a 
peasant equally well. Without a wide knowledge of books, it is 
impossible to say whence these stories came ; or whether they 
are invented by the people. Maclntyre said he had learned those 
which he told me from old men like himself, in his native island; 
and all others whom I have questioned say the same of their 


From Donald Maclntyre, Benbecula. 

THERE was once a farmer, and he was very well ofl^ 
but he had never cast an eye on the women, 
though he was old enough to be married. So one day 
he took the horse and saddle, and rode to the house of 
another farmer, who had a daughter, to see if she 
would suit him for a wife, and when he got there the 
farmer asked him to come in, and gave him food and 
drink, and he saw the daughter, and he thought she 
would suit him well. So he said to the father, " I am 
thinking it is time for me to be married, I am going 
to look for a wife " — (here there was a long conversa^ 
tion, which I forget). So the man told his wife what 
the other had said, and she told her daughter to make 
haste and set the house in order, for that such a man 
was come and he was looking for a wife, and she had 
better show how handy she was. "Well never mind, 
the daughter was willing enough, so she began to set 
the house in order, and the first thing she thought of 
was to make up the fire, so she ran out of the house to 
the peat-stack. Well, while she was bent down filling 
her apron with peats, what should fall but a great heap 
from the top of the stack on her head and shoulders. 
So she thought to herself, " Oh, now, if I were mar- 
ried to that man, and about to be a mother, and all 


diese peats fallen on my head, I should now be finished 
and all my posterity f and she gaVe a great burst of 
weeping, and sat down lamenting and bewailing. The 
mother was longing for her daughter to come back, so 
she went out and found her sitting crying in the end 
of the peat-stack, and she said, '^ What is on thee?'* 
and the daughter said, " Oh, mother, the peat-stack fell 
on my head, and I thought if I were now married to 
that man, and about to be a mother, I was done, and 
aU my posterity ;'' and the mother said, ''That is true 
for thee, my daughter ; that is true, indeed," and she 
sat down and cried too. Then the father Was getting 
cold, so he too went out, wondering what kept the women, 
and when he found them, they told him what had hap- 
pened, and he sdd, ''That would have been unfor* 
tunate indeed,** and he began to roar and cry too. The 
wooer at last came out himself, and found them all 
crying in the end of the peat-stack, and when they had 
told him why they were lamenting, he said, " "Èqy&s 
you mind. It may be that this will never happen at 
alL Gro you in-doors, and cry no more.*' Then he 
took his horse and saddle, and rode home ; and as he 
went, he thought, " What a fool I am to be stopping 
here all my life. Here I sit, and know no more of the 
world than a stock. I know how to grow com, and 
Ihat is all I know. I will go and see the world, and 
I will never come home till I find three as wise as 
thoee were foolish whom I left crying in the peat-stack.** 
And so when he got home, he set everything in order, 
and took the horse and Went away. And he travelled 
the Gr^ldom and the Galldom Highlands and strange 
lands for many a day, and got much knowledge. At 
last^ one fine evening he came to a pretty plot of green 
ground in a glen, by a river ; and on it there were 
three men standing. They were like each other, and 


dressed alike. Their dress was a long coat with short 
brigis, and a broad belt about the middle, and caps on 
their heads. (What dress is that 1 That is the dress 
they tised to wear here. I remember my father well ; 
he silways wore it.) So he put Failte on them 
(saluted them). The three men never answered a word. 
They looked at him, and then they bent their heads 
slowly towards each other^-(here the narrator bent his 
own head, and spoke solemnly) — and there they staid 
with their heads bowed for ten minutes. Then they 
raised their heads, and one said, " If I had without what 
I have within, I would give thee a night's share ;" the 
second said, " If I had done what is undone, I would 
give thee a night's share ;" and the third said, " I 
have nothing more than usual, come with me." So 
the farmer followed the old man to his house, wonder- 
ing what all this should mean. When they had gone 
in and sat down, he wondered still more, for his host 
never offered him a drink till he had told him all about 
his journey. Then he said, " Quicker is a drink than 
a tale ;" and the old man gave a laugh, and struck the 
board, and a fine woman came in and gave him a great 
cup of ale, and that was good. And he drank it, and 
thought to himself, " If I had that woman for my wife, 
she would be better than the one I left weeping in the 
peat-stack." The old man laughed again, and he said, 
"If two were willing that might be." The fanner 
wondered that this old man should know his thoughtSy 
and answer them, but he held his tongue. Then the 
old man struck the board, and a girl came in, and he 
thought, " If I had that one for my wife, she would 
be better than the girl I left howling in the peat-stack." 
The old man gave another little laugh, and he said, 
" If three were willing that might be too," and the girl 
set a small pot on the fire. The farmer looked at it, 


and thought, '^ This man must have a small company.'* 
*' Ah," said the man, "it will go about" 

" Now," said the farmer, " I rmist know what all 
this means. I will neither eat nor diink in this house 
unless you tell me. I saluted you, and you bent your 
heads, and never answered for ten minutes. When 
you did speak, I could not understand you, and now 
you seem to understand my thoughts." Then the old 
man said, " Sit down, and I will explain it all. Our 
father was a very wise man. We never knew how 
wise he was till long after he went away. We are 
three brothers, and on the bed of death our father left 
us this pretty place, and we have it amongst us, and 
plenty besides. Our father made us swear that we 
would never talk on important matters but in whis- 
pers. When thou camest, we bent our heads and 
whispered, as we always do, for men cannot dispute in 
a whisper, and we never quarrel My first brother had 
the corpse of his mother-in-law wiiidn ; he was un- 
willing to ask a stranger to a house of sorrow. She is 
to be buried to-morrow — If that were out which he 
had within, he had given thee a night's share. My 
second brother has a wife who wiU do nothing till she 
gets three blows of a stick. Then she is like other 
women, and a good wife j he did not like a stranger 
to see the blows given, and he knew she would do no- 
thing without them — If he had done what was un- 
done, he had given thee a night's share. I had 
nothing to do more than usual Thou didst tell thy 
news, and when my wife came in, I knew thy thought 
If I were dead, and thou and she were willing; you 
might be married. So if I^ and thou, and my 
daughter were willing, you might be married too. 
Now, then, said the old man, sit and eat The little 
pot will go about j it will serve for us. My company 


eat without" On the morrow, the old man said, " I 
must go to the funeral to my brother's house. Do 
thou stay here ;" but he said, " I will not stay in any 
man's house when he is away. I will go witìi you to 
the funeral" When they came back he staid some 
time in the old man's house. He married the daugh- 
ter, and got a good share of the property. And, now, 
was not that a lucky peat-stack for the farmer. 

This Rtory and No. 19 were told to me on tbe 6th of Sep- 
tember 1859, in the inn at the Sound of Benbecnla, by a man 
whose name woald sound to Saxon ears like Dolicolichyarlich ; 
a Gelt would know it for Donald MacDonald MacCharles, and 
his simame is Maclntyre ; he is a cotter, and lives in Benbecnla. 

Donald is known as a g^od teller of tales, so I walked six miles 
to his house and heard him tell a long version of the tale of 
Oonal Gulbanach. 

It lasted an hour, and I hope to get it written some day ; I 
have other versions of the same incidents. There was an audi- 
ence of all the people of the village who were within reach, in- 
cluding Mr Torrie, who lives there near Baile nan Cailleach, 
which is probably so called from an old nunnery. After the 
story, the same man recited a fragment of a poem about Fionn 
and his companions. A man returning from battle with a vast 
number of heads on a withy, meets a lady who questions him, he 
recites the history of the heads, and how their owners died. The 
poem was given rapidly and fluently. The story was partly told 
in measured prose ; but it was very much spun out, and would 
have gained by condensation. 

I told the old man that he had too many leaves on his tree, 
which he acknowledged to be a fair criticism. He followed me 
to the inn afterwards, and told me other stories ; the household 
being assembled about the door, and in the room, and taking a 
warm interest in the proceedings. After a couple of glasses of 
hot whisky and water, my friend, who was well up in years, 
walked off home in the dark ; and I noted down the heads of his 
stories in English, because my education, as respects GaeKc 
writing, was never completed. They are given as I got them, 
condensed, but unaltered. Donald says he has many more of 
the same kind. 


From Kenneth M*Lennan, Tumaid, BoBS-Bhire. 

THEEE was a custom once through theGseldom, when 
a man would die, that the whole people of the place 
would gather together to the house in which the dead 
man wa& Tigh aire faire (the shealing of watching), 
and they would be at drinking, and singing, and telling 
tales, till the white day should come. At this time they 
were gathered together in the house of watching, and 
there was a man in this house, and when the tale went 
aboaty he had neither tale nor song, and as he had not, 
he was put out at the door. When he was put out he 
stood at the end of the barn ; he was afraid to go far- 
ther. He was but a short time standing when he saw 
nine, dressed in red garments, going past, and shortly 
after that he saw other nine going past in green dresses ; 
shortly after this he saw other nine going past in blue 
dresses. A while after that came a horse, and a woman 
and a man on him. Said the woman to the man, " I 
will go to speak to that man who is there at the end 
of the bam." She asked him what he was doing stand- 
ing there? He told her. "Sawest thou any man 
going past since the night fell Ì " said she. jSe said 
that he had; he told her aU he had seen. '^Thou 
sawest all that went past since the night fell," said she. 
"Well then," said she, "the first nine thou sawest 
these were brothers of my father, and the second nine 
brothers of my mother, and the third nine, these were 
my own sons, and they are altogether sons to that man 


who is on the horse. That is my husband ; and there 
is no law in Eirinn, nor in Alaba, nor in Sasnnn that 
can find fault with us. Go thou in, and I myself will 
not beheve but that a puzzle is on them till day ;" and 
she went and she left him. 


Bha deachdadh aon uair air feadhna Gaeltachd, dar a Bhasaicheadh 
doine, gu tionaladh sluagh a' bhaile uile gu leir, dho*ii tigh sam 
bitheag an duine marbh, tigh aire fairt^ agas bhithag iad ag* 61 's 
ag bran *8 aginnse sgeulachdan, gas an digad, an latha Geal. Air an 
am 60 bba iad cruinn 'san tigh fhaire, agus bha duine anns an tigh so, 
agas dar a chaidh an sgeulachd mu 'n cuairt cha robh aon chuid aige» 
sgenlachd, na bran, agas bho'n nach robh chaidh a chur a mach air 
an dorns. Dar a chaidh sheas e aig ceann an t-sabhail, bha eagal air 
dol ni b' fhaide. Cha robh e ach goirid na sheasaidh dar a chnnnaic e 
naodhnar air an sgeadachadh ann an trasgain dhiarga a' dol seachad, 
agas goirid na dbeighe sin chunnaic e naodhnar eile a* dol seachad 
ann an deiseachan naine ; began an deighe so chnnnaic e naodhnar eile 
a' dol seachad ann an deiseachan gorma ; taean an d^igh so thàinig each, 
's bean \ duine air a mhain. Thuirt a' bhean ris an duine, '* Th^d mi 
'bhruidhinn ris an fhear a tha *siud, aig ceann an t-sabhail." Dh^ fhoigh- 
nichd i ris d^ bha e dianamh an siad 'na shiasamh. Dh* innis e dhi. 
"Am faca tu duine air bhith a' dol seachaid bho thuit an oidhche? " 
OS ise. Thuirt gu 'fac. Dh' innis e dhi na chunnaic e. " Chunna tu 
na chaidh seachad bho thuit an oidhche/' os ise. ** Mata,*' na ise, " na 
ceud naodhnar a chunna tu 'se sin bràithrean m' athar, agus an darna 
naodhnar bràiUirean mo mhàthair, agus an treas naodhnar 'se sin mo 
mhic fh^in ; agus 's mic dha n' duine ud a tha air muin an eich iad 
nile gu l^ir. 'Se sin an duine agamsa ; agus cha 'n 'eil lagh ann an 
Eirinn, na 'n Allaba, na 'n Sasunn a's urrainn coir' fhaotainn 

Folbh thnsa a nis a steach; 's cha chreid mise nach 'eil toimhs- 
eachan orra gu latha." 'S d* fholbh i 's dh' fhàg i e. 

Written by Hector Urquhart. The answer is founded on a 
mistaken belief that it is lawful for a woman to marry her grand- 
mother's husband. I am told that there ore numerous pozzies 
of the same kind now current in India. 


From John Mackenzie, fisherman, near Inverary. 

TTTEEE was a king once, and he married a great lady, 
and she departed on the birth of her first son. And 
a little after this the king married another one, and he 
had a son by this one too. The two lads were growing 
up. Then it struck in the queen's head, that it was not 
her son who would come into the kingdom ; and she set 
it before her, that she would poison the eldest son. And 
so she sent advice to the cook that they would put 
poison in the drink of the heir ; but as luck was in it, 
so it was that the youngest brother heard them, and he 
said to his brother not to take the draught, nor to 
drink it at aU j and so he did. But the queen wondered 
that the lad was not dead ; and she thought that 
there was not enough of poison in the driuk, and she 
asked the cook to put more in the drink on this night. 
It was thus they did : and when the cook made up the 
drink, she said that he would not be long alive after 
this draught But his brother heard this also, and he 
told this likewise. The eldest thought he would put 
the draught into a little bottle, and he said to his 
brother — " If I stay in this house I have no doubt she 
will do for me some way or other, and the quicker I 
leave the house the better. I will take the world for 
my pillow, and there is no knowing what fortune will 


be on me." His brother said that lie would go with 
him, and they took themselves off to the stable, and 
they put saddles on two horses and they took their 
soles out of that 

They had not gone very far from the house when 
the eldest one said — " There is no knowing if poison 
was in the drink at all, though we went away. Try it 
in the horse's ear and we shall see," The horse went 
not far when he fell. " That was only a rattle-bones 
of a horse at all events," said the eldest one, and toge- 
ther they got up on the one horse, and so they went 
forwards. "But," said he, "I can scarce believe 
that there is any poison in the drink, let's try it 
on this horse." That he did, and they went not 
far when the horse fell cold dead. They thought to 
take the hide off him, and that it would keep them 
warm on this night for it was close at hand. In the 
morning when they woke they saw twelve ravens 
coming and lighting on the carcase of the horse, 
and they were not long there when they fell over 

They went and lifted the ravens, and they take them 
with them, and the first town they reached they gave 
the ravens to a baker, and they asked him to make a 
dozen pies of the ravens. They took the pies with 
them, and they went on their journey. About the 
mouth of night, and when they were in a great thick 
wood that was there, there came four and twenty rob- 
bers out of the wood, and they said to them to deliver 
their purses ; but they said that they had no purse, but 
that they had a little food which they were carrying with 
them. " Good is even meat 1 " and the robbers began 
to eat it, but they had not eaten too boldly when they 
fell hither and thither. When they saw that the rob- 
bers were dead they ransacked their pockets^ and tiiey 


got much gold and silver on the robbers. They iir ent 
forward till they reached the Eoiight of Eiddles. 

The house of the Knight of Eiddles was in the 
finest place in that country, and if his house was pretty, 
it was his daughter was pretty (indeed). Her like was 
not on the surface of the world altogether ; so handsome 
was she, and no one would get her to marry but the 
man who would put a question to this knight that he 
could not solve. The chaps thought that they would 
go and they woidd tiy to put a question to him ; and 
the youngest one was to stand in place of gillie to his 
eldest brother. They reached the house of the Knight 
of Biddies with this question — ^* One killed two, and 
two killed twelve, and twelve killed four and twenty, 
and two got out of it ;" and they were to be in great 
majesty and high honour tiU he should solve the riddle. 

They were thus a while with the Eidere, but on a 
day of days came one of the knighf s daughtefa maidens 
of company to the giUie, and asked him to teU her the 
question. He took her plaid firom her and let her go, 
but he did not tell her, and so did the twelve maidens, 
day after day, and he said to the last one that no crea- 
ture had the answer to the riddle but his master down 
below. !No matter ! The gìUie told his master each 
thing as it happened. But one day after this came the 
knight's daughter to the eldest brother, and she was so 
fine, and she asked him to tell her the question. And 
now there was no refusing her, and so it was that he told 
her, but he kept her plaid. And the Knight of Bid- 
dies sent for him, and he solved the riddle. And he 
said that he had two choices, to lose his head, or to be 
let go in a crazy boat without food or drink, without 
oar or scoop. The chap spoke and he said — " I have 
another question to put to thee before all these things 
happen." *' Say on," said the Kjiight. " MyseK and my 


gillie were on a day in the forest shooting. My giUie fired 
at a hare, and she fell, and he took her skin off, and let 
her go, and so he did to twelve, he took their skins off 
and let them go. And at last came a great fine hare, 
and I myself fired at her, and I took her skin off, and 
I let her go." " Indeed thy riddle is not hard to 
solve, my lad,*' said the knight. And so the lad got 
the knight's daughter to wife, and they made a great 
hearty wedding that lasted a day and a year. The 
youngest one went home now that his brother had got 
so well on his way, and the eldest brother gave him 
every right over the kingdom that was at home. 

There were near the march of the kingdom of the 
Knight of Eiddles three giants, and they were always 
murdering and slaying some of the knight's people, 
and taking the spoil &om them. On a day of days the 
Knight of Eiddles said to his son-in-law, that if the 
spirit of a man were in him, he would go to kill the 
giants, as they were always bringing such losses on the 
country. And thus it was, he went and he met the 
giants, and he came home with the three giants' heads, 
and he threw them at the knight's feet ^^ Thou art an 
able lad doubtless, and thy name hereafter is the Hero 
of the White Shield." TÌe name of the Hero of the 
White Shield went far and near. 

The brother of the Hero of the White Shield was 
exceedingly strong and clever, and without knowing 
what the Hero of the White Shield was, he thought he 
would try a trick with him. The Hero of the White 
Shield was now dwelling on the lands of the giants, and 
the knight's daughter with him. His brother came 
and he asked to make a comhrag (fight as a bull) with 
him. The men began at each other, and they took to 
wrestHng from morning till evening. At last and at 
lengthy when they were tired, weak, and given up, the 


Hero of the White Shield jumped over a great rampart, 
and he asked him to meet him in the morning. This 
leap put the other to shame, and he said to him '' Well 
may it be that thou wilt not be so supple about this 
time to-morrow." The young brother now went to a 
poor little bothy that was near to the house of the Hero 
of the White Shield tired and drowsy, and in the 
morning they dared the fight again. And the Hero of 
the White Shield began to go back, till he went back- 
wards into a river. " There must be some of my blood 
in thee before that was done to me.*' " Of what blood 
art thou?" said the youngest "'Tis I am son of 
Ardan, great King of the Albann." " 'Tis I am thy 
brother." It was now they knew each other. They 
gave luck and welcome to each other, and the Hero of 
the White Shield now took him into the palace, and 
she it was that was pleased to see him — the knight's 
daughter. He stayed a while with them, and after that 
he thought that he would go home to his own kingdom ; 
and when he was going past a great palace that was 
there he saw twelve men playing at shinny over against 
the palace. He thought he woidd. go for a while and 
play shinny with them; but they were not long 
playing shiimy when they fell out, and the weak- 
est of them caught him and he shook him as he 
would a child. He thought it was no use for him to 
lift a hand amongst these twelve worthies, and he asked 
them to whom they were sons. They said they were 
children of the one father, the brother of the Hero of 
White Shield, but that no one of them had the same 
mother. " I am your father," said he ; and he asked 
them if their mothers were all alive. They said that 
they were. He went with them till he found the 
mothers, and when they were all for going, he took 
home with him the twelve wives and the twelve sons ; 


and I don't know but that hi9 seed are kings on Alba 
till this very day. 


Bha righ ann aair, 's phòs e ban-tighearna mhòr, agus shiubhail 
i air a chend mhac ach bha am mac bèo ; agas beagan na dh^igh so, 
pfaòs an righ tè eile, 's bha mac aige rithe so cuideachd. Bha 'n da 
ghille cinntmn snas. An sin bhuail an ceann na banrigh, nach b'è 
macse a thigeadh a stigh air an rìoghachd, agus chnir i roimpe gu 
'm puinseanaicheadh i 'm mac bu shine, agus mar so chuir i comh- 
airle ris a chòcaire, gu 'n cuireadh iad ptiinsean ann an deoch an 
oighre; ach mar bha sonas an dkn^ chual' am bràthair a b' òige iad, 
agus thubhairt e ri' bhrkthair, ^ Gun an deoch a ghabhail na idir a 
h-òl ; agus mar so rinn e : Ach bha iongontas air a bhan-righ na<^ 
robh an gille marbh, a^us smaoinich i nach robh na leòir a phhinsean 
anns an deoch, 's dh' iarr i air a chbcaire tuillidh a chuir 'san deoch 
air an oidhche so. 'S ann mar so a rinn iad, agus a nuair a rinn an 
cbcaire suas an deoch, thubhairt i *nach bitheadh e fada beo an d^igh 
na dibhe so ; ach chual* a bhràthair so cuideachd 's dh' innis e so mar 
an ceudna. Smaonich e gu* cuireadh e *n deoch ann am botul beag, 
agus thubhairt e ri' bhrathair, " Ma dh* fhanas mi 'san tigh cha *n 
*eil teagamh agam nach cuir i as domh dòigh a thaobhaigin, 's mar is 
luaithe dh' f hbgas mi 'n tigh, 'se is fekrr.'* ''Bheir mi 'n saoghal 
fo' m' cheann, *s cha 'n 'eil fios de 'm fortan a bhitheas orm." Thubh- 
airt a bhrathair gu' falbhadh e leis, 's thug iad orra do 'n stàbull, 'a 
chuir iad diollaid air da each, 's thug iad na buinn asda. Cha deach 
iad gìè f had' o'n tigh, dur a thubhairt am fear bu shine, " Cha 'n 'eil 
fios an robh puinsean idir san deoch ged a dh' f halbh sinn ; feuch 
ann an duais an eich e, 's chi sinn." Cha V f hada chaidh an t-each 
dur a thuit e. ** Cha robh an sud, ach gliogaire do dh' each co dhin," 
thubhairt am fear bu sine, agus le'{ch^ile ghabh iad air muin an aoin 
eich 's mar so chaidh iad air an aghaidh. ** Ach, ars' esan, 's gann 
orm a chreidsinn, gu' bheil puinsean sam bith 'san deoch; feucham i 
air an each so." Sin a rinn e, agus cha deach iad fada nuair a thuit 
an t-each fuar, marbh. Smaonich iad an t-seiche' thabhairt dheth 's 
gu cumadh i blàth iad air an oidhche oir bha i dltith dhUmh. 'JSa* 
mhaduinn, 'n uair a dhhisg iad, chunnaic iad da f hitheach dheitg a 
tighinn, 's laidh iad air dosaich an eich. Cha b' f hada' bha iad 


an sin, 'n nair a thuit iad thairis marbh. Dh' f halbh iad *8 thog iad 
na fithichf 's thugar leo iad, agus a cheud bhaile a ràinig iad, thug 
iad na fithich 4o' dh^ f huineadair 's dh' iarr iad air dusan pith a 
dheanamh do na fithich. Thug iad leo na pithean, *s dh' f halbh iad 
air an turns. Mu bheul na h-oidhche, 's iad ann an coille mhbr 
dhiimhail a bha sin thàinìg ceithir thar f hichead do robairean a 
mach as a choUle, 's thubhairt iad no, ^lad a liobhairt an sporain ; 
ach thubhairt iadsan, <* Nach robh sporan aca, ach gu 'n robh beagan 
bidh a bha iad a giulan leo." " 'S maith biadh f h^in," agus thoisich 
na robairean air itheadh. Ach cha deach iad ro dhkna, 'n nair a 
thnit fear thall sa bhos dhiubh. A nuair a chunnaic iad gn'n robh 
na robairean marbh, rannsaich iad na pocaichean aca, 's f huair iad 
mòran or 's airgiod air na robairean. Dh' f halbh iad air an aghaidh 
gQ3 an dràinig iad ridire nan Ceist Bha tigh ridire nan Ceist 
anns an kite bu bhrèagha san diithaich sin, agus xaa. bha 'n tigh 
bòidheach, 'se bha bòidbeach a nighean. Cha robh a leithid air 
nachdar an t-saoghail gu Mir, Co maiseach rithe. 'S cha 'n f haigh- 
eadh a h-aon ri phòsadh i, ach fear a chnireadh Ceist air an ridire 
80 nach h'urrainn da f haasgladh. Smaonich na fleasgaich gu 'n 
rachadh iad 's gu feucbadh iad ceist a chuir air ; agus bha 'm fear 
a b' òige gu seasadh an kite gille d'a bhràthair bu sine. Ràìnig 
iad tigh ridire nan Ceist, leis a cheist so, ''Mharbh a h-aon, 
dithis, 's mharbh dithis a dba-dheug 's marbh dha-dheug, Ceithir, 
thar-f hichead, 's thàìnig dithis as ; 's bha iad gu bhi air bhòrt 
mòr 's àirde onair gus am fuasgladh e a cheist. Bha iad greis 
mar so leis an ridire; ach oidhche do na h-oidhchean, thàinig 
te do na maighdeannan coimhideachd aig nighean an ridire, gu 
leaba 'ghille, 's thubhairt i ris, " K' an innseadh e à cheist dhith gu' 
rachadh i luidhe leis, agus mar sin f hèin rinn i ; ach mu 'n do leig e 
air falbh i, thug e a l^e dhi, ach cha do dh' innis e dhi a cheist ; 
agus mar sin rinn an da mhaighdean dhèug, oidhch' an d^igh oidhche 
agua thubhairt e ris an te mu dheireadh, ** Nach robh fios an toimh- 
scachan aig neach air bith ach aig a mhaighstir san a mhkin.** 
Comaco-dhiiidh' innis an gille gach ni mar a bha' tachairt da mhaigh- 
stir; ach aon oidhch' an dèigh so, thkinig nighean an ridire do sheb- 
mar a fohrathair bu sine, 's tiiubhairt i gu'n rachadh i luidhe leis na 
*n iimseadh e a' cheist dhi. Nise cha robh na chomas a ditiltadh, 
agus 'a ann mar so a bha, chaidh i luidhe leis, ach anns a mhaduinn, 
thug e a lèine dhi, 's leig e air falbh i, 's co luath 'sa dh'^irich ridire 
nan Ceist, chuir e fios air, 'b dh' f hnasgail e a' cheist, 's thubhairt e 
ris, " Gun robh a dha roghainn aige, an ceann a chall, na' leigeil 
air fklbh ann an eithear, gun bhiadh gnn deoch, 's gun ràmh na 



taoman." Labhair am fleasgach, 's thubhairt e, '*Tha Ceist eil 
agam ri chuir ort mu 'n tachairna h-uile nithibh so." ** Abair romh- 
ad,'* thtiirt an ridire. " Bha mi fein 's mo ghille, latha ann am 
frìdh a' sealg ; loisg mo ghille air maigheach 's thuit i ; thug e 'n 
craiceann dhi, 's leig e air falbh i. Rimi e mar sin air a dha-dheug ; 
thug e 'n craiceann diubh 's leig e air falbh iad, agus mu dheireadh, 
thainig maigheach mhòr bhrèagha, 's loisg mi fein oirre, 's thug mi 'n 
craiceann dhi, 's leig mi air falbh i." ** Moire, cha 'n ^eil do cheist 
duillich f huasgladh bganaich," thuirt an ridire, ** tha sin ag inns- 
eadh gu'n do luidh do ghille le dk mbaighdean dheug mo nighinn-sa, 
agus thu fein le mo nighean 's gu'n d' thug sibh na Mintean dhiubh." 
Sin agad do thoimhseachain mo ghille maith, agus feuma tu' pòsadh/' 
Agus se sin a rinn iad 's banais mhbr, ghreàdhmach a mhair latha 's 
bliadhna. Dh' f halbh am fear a b-òige dhachaìdh an so, 'n uair a 
f hoair e a bhràthair co maith air a dhòigh, 's thug am brkthair bu 
sine dha na h-uile cbir air an rioghachd a bha aig an tigh. Bha 
dliith do dh' f hearann ridire na^ Ceist tritiir f hamhairean, agus iad 
daonnan a' mort 'sa' marbhadh cuid do dhaoine an ridire, 'sa tabhairt 
uapa spiiill. Latha do na laithean, thuirt ridire nan Ceist ri 
chliamhuinn, na 'm biodh spiorad duin' ann, gu'n rachadh e a mharbh- 
adh nam famhairean. Agus 's ann mar so a bha, dh' f halbh e, 's 
choinnich e na famhairean agus thainig e dhachaidh le ceann 
nan tri famhairean, *s thilg e iad aig casan an ridire. " 'S olach 
tapaidh thu gu 'n teagamh, agus 'se is ainm dhuit na dheigh so, 
Gaisgeach na sgiath bàine." Chaidh ainm gaisgeach na sgiath bàine 
am fad *s an goirid. Bha brkthair gaisgeach na sgiath bkine anabarr- 
ach laidir, tapaidh, agus gun f hios aige co e gaisgeach na sgiath 
bkine, smaoinich e gun rachadh e dh' f heuchainn deas ris. Bha 
gaisgeach na sgiath-bàine a' gabhail còmhnuidh air fearann an 
f hamhair a nis, 's nighean an ridire leis. Thkinig a bhrkthair 's dh' 
iarr e còmhrag a dhèanamh ris. Thbisich na fir air a' ch^ile, agus 
thug iad air gleachd bho mhaduinn gu feasgar. Mu dheireadh thall 
'n uair a bha iad sgith, fann, 's air toirt thairis, leum gaisgeach na 
sgiath bkine am Baideal mbr, 's dh' iarr e air coinneachainn ris sa 
mhaduinn. Chuir an leum so am fear eile fuidh sprochd, 's thubhairt 
e, " Math dh' f haoidte nach bi thu co subailte mu 'n am so am 
màireach." Chaidh am brkthair bg a nise do bhothan beag, bochd a 
bha dllith do thigh gaisgeach na sgiath-bkine gu sgith, airsnealach ; 
agus anns a mhaduinn, dh' iiraich iad an tuasaid agus thbisich gaisg- 
each na sgiath-bkine air dol air ais, gus an deach e 'n coimhir a chuil 
ann an abhuinn. '* Feumaidh e gu' bheil cuid do m ' f huil annad ma 'n 
deanadh tu so ormsa." "Co 'n fhuil da 'm bheil thu?" thuirt am 


fear a b* òìge. ** 'S mise mac Aidean righ mòr na h-Albann." ** 'S 
mise do bhràtbair." 'S ann an so a dh' aithnich iad a* ch^ile. Chair 
iad fàilte 'a furan air a ch^ile, 's thug gaisgeach na sgiath-bàine an 
so a stigh e do 'n lùchairt, agus 's e 'bha toileach f haicinn nighean an 
ridire. Dh^ f han e car tamull maille riu, agus *iia dheigh sin, smaoin- 
ich e gun rachadh e dhachaidh d*a rioghachd f^in, agus a nuair a 
bha e gabhail seachad air pkileas mòr a bha' sin, chunnaic e da 
f hear dheug a* camanachd fa chomhair a phàileis. Smaoinich e gun 
rachadh e greis a chamanachd leo, ach cha b' f had' a bha iad a' cam- 
anachd *n uair a chaldh iad a mach air a' ch^ile, agus rug am fear bu 
suarraiche dhiubh air, agus chrath 'se e mar gu'n deanadh e air pàisde. 
Smaoinich e nach robh math dha' Ikmh a thogail, am measg an da 
cheathaimeach dheug so, agus dh' f heoraich e dhiubh, co dha bo 
mhic iad ? Thubhairt iad, ** Gu 'm Ve clann aon athar iad, bràthair 
do ghaisgeach na sgiath-bàine, agus nach b'e an aon mhktbair a bh' 
aig a h-aon dhiubh." ** 'Smise bhur n-athair," thubhairt esan ; s dh' 
fharraid e dhiubh, "An robh am mkthraichean uile beo?" Thuirt 
iad ^a 'n robh. Chaidh e leo gus an d'f huair e na mkthraichean, 
agus a nuair a bha iad uile gu falbh thug e leis dhachaidh an dh 
bhean dèug 's a' dha mhac dheug, agus cha 'n 'eil fìos agamsa nach 
e 'n aliochd a tha 'nan righrean air Alba gus a' latha 'n diugh. 

Written down from the recitation of John Mackenzie, fisher- 
man at Inverary, who says that he learned the tale from an old 
man in Lorn many years ago. He has been thirty-six years 
at Inyerary. He first told me the tale fluently, and afterwards 
dictated it to me ; and the words written are, as nearly as pos- 
sible, those used by Mackenzie on the first occasion. 

April 1859. Hectob Urquhart. 

The word pronounced Rèet-djS-rS, and variously spelt Ridir, 
Bighdir, and Kighdeire, is explained in a manuscript history 
of the Campbells, written about 1827, as Righ, king — dei, after 
— m, king. If this be correct, the word would mean a following 
or minor king. It may equally be a corruption of Ritter, or 
Reiter ; and I have translated it by knight, because it is now 
applied to all knights. 

The author of the manuscript says : — The term is handed 
down even in Gaelic tales, and mentions several which were then 
current, Bighdiere nan Spleugh, and an Righdeiri Ruadh ; he adds, 
that Bighdeirin dubh Loch Oigh (the Black Knights of Loch 

36 WEST HIQHLAND tales. 

Awe) was the name then used bj old Highlanders in mentioning 
the chiefs of the Duin (Campbells), and that the ruins of Eredin 
Castle were then known by no other name than Larach tai nan 
Bighdeirin — ^the ruins of the house of the knights. 

The writer argues from old manuscript histories, charters, 
etc., that the term was brought from Ireland by the colony who 
settled in Cantire at a very early period, and who spread thence 
over Argyllshire, and founded a kingdom, of which frequent men- 
tion is made in Irish annals as the Dalreudinan, or Scoto-Irish 
colonization of Argyll, Cantire, Lorn, and Islay. . It is supposed 
to have taken place about a.d. 503, under Laom, Fergus, and 
Angus, three sons of Eric, the descendant of Cairbre Ruadh, a 
son of Conary II., who ruled as chief king of Ireland a.d. 212. 
Be that as it may, all the Gaelic traditions now current in the 
Isles point at an Irish migration which took place in the year of 
grace once upon a iimej and the word Bighdeire occui's continu- 
ally, where it seems to mean a small king, and a king of Erin ; 
for example, " there was a king (Bee) and a Beet-djer — as there 
was and will be, and, as grows the fir-tree, some of them crooked 
and some of them straight — and he was a king of Erin." Even 
the word Albanach, now used for Scotchman, means Wanderer. 
When the king's son changes his name, after killing the giants, 
it seems as if he were made a knight. 

This tale, then, would seem to be some mythological account 
of events which may be traced in Grimm's stories, in the Classics, 
and elsewhere, mixed up with names and titles belonging to the 
colonization of Argyllshire by Irish tribes, and all applied to the 
kings of Scotland in the last sentence. It is a fair representation 
of the strange confusion of reality and fancy, history and mytho- 
logy, of which I believe these stories to be composed. 

The nearest story to it which I know is Das Bathsel, in 
Grimm, No. 22. Several versions are given in the third volume, 
which seem to vary from each other, about as much as this 
Gaelic version varies from them all. 

There is something like the fight between Bomulus and hie 
brother. Alba means Scotland. 


From Alexander M 'Donald, tenant, and others, Barra. Jaly 1859. 

C^OTJE were watching cattle in BaLlebhurgh (Burgh 
-■- Farm). They were in a fold. The four were 
Domhnull MacGhilleathain, Domhnull Macant' Saoir, 
Calum MacNill, and Domnnll Domhnullach. They 
saw a dog. Calum MacNill said that they should 
strike the dog. Said Domhnull MacGhilleathain, " We 
will not strike. K thou strikest him thou wilt repent 
it" Calum MacNill struck the dog, and his hand 
and ins arm lost their power. He felt a great pain in 
his hand and his arm, and one of the other lads car- 
ried his stick home ; he could not carry it himsel£ 
He was lamenting his hand, and he went where there 
was an old woman, Mc a Phi, to get knowledge about 
his hand. She said to him that he would be so till 
the end of a day and a year ; and at the end of a day 
and year, to go to the knoll and say to it, " If thou 
dost not let with me the strength of my hand, I 
or my race will leave neither stick nor stone of thee 
that we will not drive to pieces." 

At the end of a day and year his comrades said, 
" There is now a day and year since thou hast lost 
the power of thy hand, come to the knoll till thy hand 
get its power, as the woman said." He went himself 
and his comrades. They reached the hill. He drew 


his stick, and lie said to the knoll, " If thou dost not 
let with me the strength of my hand, I myself or my 
race will leave neither stick nor stone of thee that we 
will not drive to pieces." And he got the power of 
his hand. 


Bha ceathrar a' faire cniidh ann am Baile bhuirgh. Bha iad ann an 
cuidh. B'e 'cheathrar Domhnull MacGbilleathain, Domhnull Mac-an 
t-Saoir, Calam MacNill, agas Domhnnll Domhnullach. Chnnnaic iad 
ctu Thmrt Calnm MacNill gnmbuaileadh ead an cti. Thuirt DombnuU 
MacGhilleatbain. *'' Cha bhuail, ma bbuaileas tu e bidh aithreachas 
ort.'' Bhaail Calum MacNill an cii agas chaill a Ikmh agus a ghkirdean 
an liigh. Bha e mothachainn cràdh mòr 'na Ikimb agas 'na ghàird- 
ean, agns ghitilain h-aon de na gillean eile dachaidh am bata, cha b' 
orrainn e fhin a ghitilan. Bha e 'gearan a Ikimhe, 's chaidh e far an 
robh seana bhean, Nic a Phi airson eolas fhaotamn ma Ikimh. 
Thairt i ris gam biodh e mar sin ga ceann la as bliadhna, 's an ceann 
la a's bliadhna e dhol gos a' chnoc, 's a radh ris " Mar an lig thu 
leamsa liigh mo Ikimhe cha n fhag mise, na mo shliochd, clach na 
crann diot nach cair sin as a ch^le." An ceann la a's bliadhna 
thuirt a chompanaich ris. " Tha nis la a*s bliadhna o'n a chaill thn 
liigh na Ikimhe, thalla gos a' chnoc, 's go'm faigheadh do Ikmh a Itigh 
mar a thairt a' bhean." Dh' fholbh e fhin *8 a chompanaich, 's rkinig 
end an cnoc. Tharruinn e'm bata 's thairt eris a' chnoc, *'Mar an lig 
thu leamsa Ihgh mo Ikimhe cha *n fhkg mi fhin, na mo shliochd, 
clach na crann diot nach d' thoir sin as a cheile." Fhuair e Itigh na 

Written by Hector MacLean, from the telling of a man in 
Barra. This may be compared with the Manks tradition about 
the Black Dog, at Peel Castle. 


From Alexander M'Donald, tenant, and others, Barra. July 1859. 

rriHEEE was a woman in Baile Thangusdail, and she 
-■- was out seeking a couple of calves ; and the night 
and lateness caught her, and there came rain and tem- 
pest, and she was seeking shelter. She went to a 
knoll with the couple of calves, and she was striking 
the tether peg into it. The knoll opened. She heard 
a gleegashing as if a pot-hook were clashing beside a 
pot. She took wonder, and she stopped striking the 
tether-peg. A woman put out her head and all above 
her middle, and she said, " What business hast thou 
to be troubling this tulman in which I make my dwell- 
ing ?" "I am taking care of this couple of calves, 
and I am but weak. Where shall I go with them ? " 
" Thou shalt go with them to that breast down yon- 
der. Thou wilt see a tuft of grass. K thy couple of 
calves eat that tuft of grass, thou wilt not be a day 
without a milk cow as long as thou art alive, because 
thou hast taken my counsel" 

As she said, she never was without a milk cow 
after that, and she was alive fourscore and fifteen years 
after the night that was there. 



Bha boireannach ann am Baile Tbangasdail, 's bha i mach sag iarr- 

aidh caigionn laogb, agos rug an oidhche 'san t-anmocb urra, agus 
thkinig sileadh agus sion, *s bha i 'g iarraidb fasgaidh. Chaidh i go 

cnoc leis a' chaigionn laogb ^s bba i 'bualadh a^ cbipein ann. Db* 

fhosgail an cnoc Chual i gliogadaicb, mar go*m biodh buthal a* 

gleadhraicb taobh poite. Ghabb i ionghantas. Stad i 'bboaladh a' 

cbipein. Cbnir boireannach a macb a ceann, 's na robh as cionn a 

miadboin, 's tbuirt i rithe. " D4 'n gnothach a tb' agad a bhi 'cur dragh 

air an tulman so 's a' bbeil mise 'gabbail combnuidb? " ** Tba mi 

'toirtan abr' air a* cbaigionn laogh so, 's cba 'n 'ell mi ach lag, ca' n d' 

tb^id mi leo? " Th^id tbu leo 'ionnsoidb an ncbd 'ud shias, cbi thu 

bad feoir an sin. Ma db' itbeas do chaigionn laogb am bad feoir sin 

cba bbi tbu latba gun mhart bainne fhad 's is beo tbu, o'n a gbabh 

tbu mo chombairle." Mar a tbubhairt i, cba robh i riabb gun mhart 

bainn' as a db^igh so, 's bba i bob còig deug agus ceitbir ficbead bliadb 

na 'n d^igb na h' oidhche 'bba 'n siod." 

Written by Hector MacLean, from the dictation of a man in 


From Alexander M'Donald, tenant, and others, Barra. July 1859. 

rjlHEKE came a woman of peace (a faiiy) the way of 
-■- the house of a man in the island of Fahaidh, and 
she had the hunger of motherhood on her. He gave 
her food, and that went well with her. She staid that 
night. When she went away, she said to him, " I am 
making a desire that none of the people of this island 
may go in childbed after this." None of these people, 
and none others that would make their dwelling in the 
island ever departed in childbed from that time. 


THATinG boireannach sith rathad tigh dain^ ann an eilean Phabaidh, 
agns acras na laidhe shiUbhl' urra. Thag e biadh dhi, *s ghabh sin go 
math aice. Dh' fhan i 'n oidhche sin. Nur a dh' fhalbh i thuirt i 
ris. ** Tha mise deanadh iarrtas nach fhalbh gin, de dhaoin* an eilean 
80, ann an leaba na sihbhla as a dh^igh so." Cha d' fhalbh gin riabh 
de na daoine sin *na gin eile bhiodh a^ gabhail comhnuidh *san eilean 
naidhe sin, ann an leaba na siiibhia. 

Written by Hector MacLean, from the telling of a man in 


From Alexander M 'Donald, tenant, and others, Barra. July 1859. 

rpHEEE was a herd's wife in the island of Sann- 
■J- traigh, and she had a kettle. A woman of peace 
(fairy) would come every day to seek the kettle. She 
would not say a word when she came, but she would 
catch hold of the kettle. When she would catch the 
kettle, the woman of the house would say — 

A smith is able to make 
Cold iron hot with coal. 
The due of a kettle is bones, 
And to bring it back again whole. 

The woman of peace would come back every day with 
the kettle and flesh .and bones in it. On a day that 
was there, the housewife was for going over the ferry to 
Baile a Chaisteil, and she said to her man, " If thou 
wilt say to the woman of peace as I say, I will go to 
Baile CastW " Oo ! IwiUsayii Surely it's I that 
will say it." He was spinning a heather rope to be 
set on the house. He saw a woman coming and a 
shadow from her feet, and he took fear of her. He 
shut the door. He stopped his work. When she 
came to the door she did not find the door open, and 
he did not open it for her. She went above a hole 
that was in the house. The kettle gave two jumps, 
and at the third leap it went out at the ridge of the 
house. The night came, and the kettle came not. The 
wife came back over the ferry, and she did not see a 


bit of the kettle within, and she asked, " Where was 
the kettle?" "Well then I don't care where it is," 
said the man ; " I never took such a fright as I took 
at it. I shut the door, and she did not come any more 
with it" " Good-for-nothing wretch, what didst thou 
do Ì There are two that will be ill off— thyself and I.'' 
" She will come to-morrow with it." " She will not 


She hasted herself and she went away. She 
reached the knoll, and there was no man within. It 
was after dinner, and they were out in the mouth of 
the night. She went in. She saw the kettle, and she 
lifted it with her. It was heavy for her with the 
remnants that they left in it. When the old carle 
that was within saw her going out, he said — 

Silent wife, silent wife, 
Tliat came on us from tlie land of chase, 
Thoa man on the surface of the " Bruth," 
Loose the Black, and slip the Fierce. 

The two dogs were let loose ; and she was not long 
away when she heard the clatter of the dogs coming. 
She kept the remnant that was in the kettle, so that 
if she could get it with her, well, and if the dogs should 
come that she might throw it at them. She perceived 
the dogs coming. She put her hand in the kettle. 
She took the board out of it, and she threw at them a 
quarter of what was in it. They noticed it there for a 
while. She perceived them again, and she threw 
another piece at them when they closed upon her. She 
went away walking as well as she might ; when she 
came near the farm, she threw the mouth of the pot 
downwards, and there she left them all that was in it. 
The dogs of the town struck (up) a barking when they 
saw the dogs of peace stopping. The woman of peace 
never came more to seek the kettle. 



Bha bean fir ooimhead ann an eilean Shanntraigh agos bha coir' 
aioe. Thigeadh bean shith h-nile latha dh* iarraidh a* choire. Cha 
chanadh i smid nor a thigeadh, i ach bheireadh i air a* choire. Nor a 
bheireadh i air a* choire theireadh bean an tìghe. 

'S treasaiche gobha gual 
Go iarrann fiiar a bhruich ; 
DIeasnas coire cnàimh 
*Sa thoirt slàn go tigh. 

Thigeadh a' bhean shith air a h-ais h-uile latha leis a* choire, agos 
feoil as cnàmhan ann. Latha bha *n sin bha bean an tighe airson 
dol thar an aiseig do Bhail* a Chaisteil, agus thuirt i r'a fear, ** Ma 
their thusa ris a* bhean ahith mar a their mise falbhaidh mi 'Bhaile 
Ghaisteil." " U I their," urs* esan, ***8 cinnteach gur mi 'their." Bha e 
sniamh siamain fraoich gos a chur air an tigh. Chunnaic e bean a* 
tighinn 's faileas a a casan, *s ghabh e eagal roimhpe. Dhmid e 'n 
domsd as stad e d'a obair. Nur a thUnig ise do *n domsd cha d' fhnair 
i 'n dorusd fosgailte, 's cha d' fhosgail esan di e. Chaidh i as cionn 
toll a bha's an tigh. Thag an coire da leum as, agos air an treas leum 
dh' fhalbh e mach air diiom an tighe. Thkinig an oidhche, 's cha d' 
thàinig an coire. Thill a' bhean thar an aiseig, 's cha 'n fhac i dad de 
'n choire stigh, agns dh' fhoighnichd i ca 'n robh 'n coire. " Mata 's 
coma learn ca' bheil e," urs' a fear, ** cha do ghabh mi riabh a leithid de 
dh' eagal 's a ghabh mi roimhe. Ghabh mi eagal, 's dhhinn mi 'n 
domsd, 's cha d' thàinig i tnillidh leis." '< A dhonain dhona de rinn 
thu? 's dithisd a bhios gu don' thu fhin agus mise." <* Thig i 'm 
màireach leia." ** Cha d' thig." 

Sgioblaich i i fhin, 's dh' fhalbh i' *s ràinig i 'n cnoc, 's cha robh 
doine stigh. Bha e 'n dèìgh na dinnearach, 's bha eud a mach am 
bial na h-oidhche. Ghabh i stigh. Chunnaic i 'n coire 's thog i 
leath' e. Bha e trom aice, 'san còrr a dh' fhag Aud ann. Nur a 
chunnaic am bodach a bha stigh i dol amach. Thuirt e. 

A bhean bhalbh-a bhean bhalbh 
A thàinig oimn a tir nan sealg ; 
Fhir a tha 'n uachdar a' bhruth, 
Fuasgail an Dugh 's lig an Garg. 

Ligeadh an da chh ma sgaoil, 's cha b' fhada bha is* air falbh nur a 
chual i strathail nan con a' tighinn. Ghlèidh i *n còrr a bha 's a' choire 
air alt *a na 'm faigheadh i leath' e gum bu mhath, 'a na 'n d' thigeadh 


na com gun tilgeadh i on' e. Dh' fhairich i na coin a* tighixm, *8 chnir 
i làmh Ba' choire, 's thug i *m bbid as, ^8 thilg i onra ceathra de na bh' 
ann. Thng end an aire treis air an siud. Dh* fhairich i 1)8 end, *8 
thilg i pio8* eil* orra nnr a dias end nrra. Dh* fhalbh i ooiaeachd cho 
math 'sadh'fhaodadhi Nur ihkmigidlhthair a' bhaile thilg 1 ^hial 
fodha, '8 dh' fhàg i n sind aca na bh' ann. Bhnail coin a* bhail' air 
comhartaich nnr a chunnaic end na coin shith 'stad. Cha d' thàinìg 
a' bhean shith riabh tnillidh a dh' iarraidh a' choirs. 

Written by Hector MacLean, from the telling of a man in 



From W. Ross, stalker. 

nPHIS celebrated witch was accused of having 
^ enchanted the deer of the Eeay forest, so that they 
avoided pursuit. Lord Eeay was exceedingly angry, 
but at a loss how to remedy the eviL His man 
William (the same who braved the witch and sat 
down in her hut) promised to find out if this was the 
case. He watched her for a whole night, and by some 
counter enchantments managed to be present when in 
the early morning she was busy milking the hinds. 
They were standing all about the door of the hut till 
one of them ate a hank of blue worsted hanging from 
a nail in it. The witch struck the animal, and said, 
" The spell is oflf you ; and Lord Eeay's bullet will be 
your death to-day." WiUiam repeated this to his 
master to confirm the tale of his having passed the 
night in the hut of the great hag, which no one would 
believe. And the event justified it, for a fine yellow 
hind was killed that day, and the hank of blue yam 
was found in its stomach. 

This is one of nearly a hundred stories, gathered amongst 
the people of Sutherland by a very talented collector, whose 
numerous accomplishments unfortunately do not include Gaelic. 
This resembles an account of a Lapp camp (see Introduction). 
It also bears some affinity to a story published by Grant Stewart, 
in which a ghost uses a herd of deer to carry her furniture. 


From the Rev. Thomas Pattieson, lelay. 

^^EAES ago there lived in Crossbrig a smith of the 
-^ name of MacEachem. This man had an only 
child, a boy of about thirteen or fourteen years of age, 
cheerful, strong, and healthy. All of a sudden he fell 
ill ; took to his bed and moped whole days away. No 
one could tell what was the matter with him, and the 
boy himself could not, or would not, tell how he felt. 
He was wasting away fast; getting thin, old, and 
yellow j and his father and all his friends were afraid 
that he would die. 

At last one day, after the boy had been lying in 
this condition for a long time, getting neither better 
nor worse, always confined to bed, but with an extra- 
ordinary appetite, — one day, while sadly revolving these 
things, and standing idly at his forge, with no heart to 
work, the smith was agreeably surprised to see an old 
man, well known to him for his.sagacity and knowledge of 
out-of-the-way things, walk into his workshop. Forth- 
with he told him the occurrence which had clouded his 

The old man looked grave as he listened ; and 
after sitting a long time pondering over all he had 
heard, gave his opinion thus — " It is not your son you 
have got The boy has been carried away by the 


* Daione Sith,' and they have left a Sibhreack in his 
place." " Alas ! and what then am I to do ?" said the 
smith. "Howamlever to seemy ownsonagain?" **I 
will tell you how," answered the old man. " But, first, 
to make sure that it is not your own son you have got, 
take as many empty egg shells as you can get, go 
with them into the room, spread them out carefully 
before his sight, then proceed to draw water with 
them, canying them two and two in your hands as if 
they were a great weight, and arrange, when full, with 
every sort of earnestness round the fire." The smith 
accordingly gathered as many broken egg-shells as he 
could get, went into the room, and proceeded to carry 
out all his instructions. 

He had not been long at work before there arose 
from the bed a shout of laughter, and the voice of the 
seeming sick boy exclaimed, " I am now 800 years of 
age, and I have never seen the like of that before." 

The smith returned and told the old man. " Well, 
now," said the sage to him, " did I not tell you that it 
was not your son you had : your son is in Borra-cheill 
in a digh there (that is, a round green hill frequented 
by fairies). Get rid as soon as possible of this in- 
truder, and I think I may promise you your son." 

" You must light a very large and bright fire before 
the bed on which this stranger is lying. He will ask 
you, * What is .the use of such a fire as that Ì ' Answer 
him at once, * You will see that presently ! ' and then, 
seize him, and throw him into the middle of it. K it is 
your own son you have got, he will call out to save 
him ; but if not, this thing will fly through the roof!*' 

The smith again followed the old man's advice ; 
kindled a large fire, answered the question put to him 
as he had been directed to do, and seizing the child 
flung him in without hesitation. The " Sibhreach" gave 


an awful yell, and sprung through the roof, where a 
hole was left to let the smoke out. 

On a certain night the old man told him the green 
round hill, where the fairies kept the boy, would be 
open. And on that night the smith, having provided 
Idmself with a bible, a dirk, and a crowing cock, was 
to proceed to the hill. He would hear singing and 
dancing, and much merriment going on, but he was to 
advance boldly ; the bible he carried would be a certain 
safeguard to him against any danger from the fairies. 
On entering the hill he was to stick the dirk in the 
threshold, to prevent the hill from closing upon him ; 
" and then," continued the old man, " on entering you 
will see a spacious apartment before you, beautifully 
clean, and there, standing far within, working at a 
forge, you will also see your own son. When you 
are questioned, say you come to seek him, and will not 
go without him." 

Not long alter this, the time came round, and the 
smith saUied forth, prepared as instructed. Sure 
enough as he approached the hill, there was a light 
where hght was seldom seen before. Soon after a 
sound of piping, dancing, and joyous merriment 
reached the anxious father on the night wind. 

Overcoming every impulse to fear, the smith ap- 
proached the threshold steadily, stuck the dirk into it 
as directed, and entered. Protected by the bible he 
carried on his breast, the fairies could not touch him ; 
but they asked him, with a good deal of displeasure, 
what he wanted there. He answered, " I want my 
son, whom I see down there, and I will not go without 

Upon hearing this, the whole company before him 
gave a loud laugh, which wakened up the cock he 
carried dozing in his arms, who at once leaped up on 

VOL. n. E 


his shoulders, clapped his wings lustily, and crowed 
loud and long. 

The fairies, incensed, seized the smith and his son, 
and throwing them out of the hill, flung the dirk after 
them, " and in an instant a' was dark." 

For a year and a day the boy never did a turn of 
work, and hardly ever spoke a word ; but at last one 
day, sitting by his father and watching him finishing 
a sword he was making for some chief, and which he 
was very particular about, he suddenly exclaimed, 
" That is not the way to do it ; " and taking the tools 
from his father's hands he set to work himself in his 
place, and soon fashioned a sword, the like of which 
was never seen in the country before. 

From that day the young man wrought constantly 
with his father, and became the inventor of a peculiarly- 
fine and weU-tempered weapon, the making of which 
kept the two smiths, father and son, in constant em- 
ployment, spread their fame far and wide, and gave 
them the means in abundance, as they before had the 
disposition to live content with all the world and very 
happily with one another. 

The walls of the house where this celebrated smith, the arti- 
ficer of the " Claidheamh Ceann-Ileach," lived and wrought, are 
standing to this day, not far from the parish church of Kilcho- 
man, Islay, in a place called Caonis gall. 

Many of the incidents in tUs story are common in other col- 
lections ; bat I do not know any published story of the kind in 
which the hero is a smith. This smith was a famous character, 
and probably a real personage, to whom the story has attached 

The gentleman who has been kind enough to send me this 
tale, does not say from whom he got it, but I have heard of the 
Islay smith, who could make wonderful swords, all my life, and 
of the " Swords of the Head of Islay." The Brewery of Egg- 
shells, and the Throwing of the Fairy Changeling into the Fire, are 


well-known popular tales in collections from Ireland, Scotland, 
Wales, and, I think, Brittany. The man carried into the hill and 
there remaining for a long time, is also an incident common to 
many races, inclnding the Jews, and one which I have heard in 
the Highlands ever since I can remember, though I do not 
remember to have heard any of the peasantry tell it as a story. 

The belief that *'the hill" opened on a certain night, and 
that a light shone from the inside, where little people might be 
seen dancing, was too deeply grounded some years ago to be 
lightly spoken of; even now, on this subject, my kind friend Mrs. 
MacTavish writes — " You may perhaps remember an old servant 
we had at the manse who was much offended if any one doubted 
these etoTÌeB— {I remernber her perfectly). I used to ask her the 
reason why such wonders do not occur in our day, to which she 
replied, that religious knowledge having increased, people's faith 
was stronger than it was in the olden time. In the glebe of Kil- 
brandon in Lorn is a hill called Crocan Corr — the good or beau- 
tiful hill where the fairies even in my young days were often seen 
dancing around their fire. I sometimes went out with others to 
look, but never succeeded in seeing them at their gambols. 

" Are you aware that 's mother was carried away by the 

fairies — (/ know *- — ► vjeU). So convinced were many of this 
absurdity, which I remember perfectly well, that it was with diffi- 
culty they got a nurse for his brother , who being a deli- 
cate child, was believed to have been conveyed away along with 
his mother, and a fairy left instead of him during his father's 
absence * * * The child however throve when he got a 
good nurse, and grew up to be a man, which, I suppose, convinced 
them of their folly. Mr. — — • minister of had some diffi- 
culty in convincing a man whose wife was removed in a similar 
manner (she died in childbed)^ that his son, a boy twelve years of 
age, must have been under some hallucination when he main- 
tained that his mother had come to him, saying she was taken by 
fairies to a certain hill in Muckaim, known to be the residence of 
the fairies. 

" If any one is so unfortunate as to go into one of these hills, 
which are open at night, they never get out unless some one goes 
in quest of them, who uses the precaution of leaving a gun or 
swoBD across the opening, which the fairies cannot remove. A 


certain young woman was decoyed into one of these openings, 
who was seen by an acquaintance dancing with the merry race. 
He resolved on trying to rescue her, and leaving his gun at the 
entrance, went foi'ward, and seizing the young woman by the hand, 
dragged her out before they could prevent him. They pursued 
them, but having got her beyond the gun, they had no longer 
power to keep her. She told him she had nearly dropped down 
with fatigue, but she could not cease dancing, though she felt it 
would soon kill her. The young man restored her to her friends, 
to their great joy." 

{I remember exactly the same incident told of a Mil called Ben- 

cnock in I slay ^ and one similar of another hiU, called Cnoch-daun.) 

** When poor women are confined, it is unsafe to leave them alone 

till their children are baptised. If through any necessity they 

•must be left alone, the Bible left beside them is sufficient protectiou. 

"Many were the freaks fairies were guilty of. A family 
who lived in Gaolin Castle, Kerrera, near Oban, had, as they sup- 
posed, a delicate child ; it was advancing in years but not growing 
a bit ; at length a visitor from Ireland came to the castle, and 
recognized her as the fairy sweetheart of an Irish gentleman of 
his acquaintance. He addressed her in Gaelic or Irish, saying — 


— There thou art, -little fairy sweetheart of Brian MacBroadh. So 
offended was the elf at being exposed, that she ran out of the 
castle and leaped into the sea from the point called Buadh na 
SiRACH, the fairies' point, to this day. 

" Fairies were very friendly to some people whom they 
favoured, but equally mischievous where they took a dislike. A 
hiU in the farm of Dunvuilg in Craignish was one of their 
favourite haunts, and on a certain occasion they offered to assist 
an honest tenant's wife in the neighbourhood, for whom they had 
a kindness, to manufacture a quantity of wool she had for clothing 
for her family. She was very glad to have their services, and 
being always an active race, they set to work directly, repeating 


PHiN.' Teazing, carding, mixing, distaff, weaving loom, water 
for waulking on the fire, the thrifty housewife herself is the best 
at sitting up late. 

'^^^rsi^ . mi^i ^B^ — ■ i. -j^^jjsu 


" In tbe lieat of their operations an en^ous neighbour came 
to the door crying—* Dunvdii^ ra THEnrsE/ Dnnvoilg on fire ! 
Danvnilg is on fire ! Dnnvuilg is on fire ! was re-echoed by all 
the little company. ' M' ci&d is m' inhean ! m' uibd is* m' dteanh 


DHAoiNE MORA t ' — ' Dnnvuilg on fire ; my hammers and my anvil — 
my hammers and my anvil ; my little children and my grown men 
—my little children and my grown men !' and they all scampered 
gS, bnt not till they had nearly finished the hoasewife's web. 

'* There is a field in the farm in which I was bom, said to have 
been the scene of fairy operations. They were seen at work, 
and heard encouraging each other with ' Caol achadh mhaidh 
Bb4.NAi>H an TETH.* The com in the field was found in stocks 
in the morning. 

*' It is quite common to remark, that the fairies are at some 
meal as the time of day may indicate when there is rain with 
sunshine, bnt I never heard the reason why. — {In England it it 
the d 1 beating his voife.) 

"The night following the 13th of May, or May -day, old style, 
is a particularly busy season with both fairies and witches. Then 
every herd and dairy-maid and cannie housewife uses various arts 
to ward oflf the many evils the enemy has the power of inflict- 
ing. One device which I have seen used was putting a little 
tar in the right ear of each cow beast in the byre ; but all these 
charms or giosragan, as they are called, had always some 
reason. Tar has a disinfecting quality as is well known, and 
used to be put on clothing under the arms when a person had 
to go into a house where there was any infectious disease." 

The Dunbhulaig story is all over the Highlands, and there 
seem to be many places so called. Mr. John MacLean, Kilcha- 
maig, Tarbert, Argyle, has sent me a version which varies but 
little from that told by Mrs. MacTavish. The scene is laid on 
the Largie side of Kintyre. The farmer's wife was idle, and called 
for the fairies, who wove a web for her and shouted for more work. 
She first set them to put each other out, and at last got rid of 
them by shouting " Dunbhulaig on fire ! " The fairies' rhyme 
when working was — 

^ Is fad abhras n'aon laimh air dheradh 
Ciradh cardadh Tlamadh cuighel 


Feath a biftarst fìtbidh gu luath 

S iiisge laaidh air teinne 

Obair obair obair obair 

Is fad abbras 'n aon laimb air dheradb." 

Whicb Mr. MacLean translates freely — 

** Work, work, for a single band 
Can bat little work command, 
Some to tease, and card, and spin ; 

Some to oil and weave begin ; j 

Some the water for waulking heat 

That we may her web complete. I 

Work, work, for a single hand I 

Can but little work command." I 

The rhyme, when they depart in hot haste, is— 

" Mo mhullachan caise m'ord a's m innean 
Mo bhean 's mo phaisde s' mo gogan ima 
Mo bho s' mo gobhair s' mochiste beag minne 
Och och ochone gur truagh tha mise ! " 

Freely translated thus by Mr. MacLean-^ 

*' My wife, my child, alas, with these, 
My butter pail and little cheese, 
My cow, my goat, my meal chest gone, 
My hammers too, och, och, ochone ! " 

Or more closely thus— 

" My mould of cheese, my hammer, and anvil. 
My wife and my child, and my butter crock ; 
My cow And my goat, and my little meal kist ; 
Och, och, ochone, how wretched am I ! " 

I heard another version of the same story in Lewis from a 
medical gentleman, who got it from an old woman who told it 
as a fact, with some curious variations unfit for printing. Aod 
my landlady in Benbecula knew the story, and talked it over with 
me in September this year. The versions which I have of this 
story vary in the telling as much as is possible, and each is evi- 


dentlj the prodaction -of a different mind, but the incideBts are 
nearly the same in all, and the rhyme varies only in a few points. 
Danbhulaig is the same in Kintyre, Lorn, Lewis and Benbecula. 
I am not aware that the story has ever before been reduced to 

The Man in the Hill is equally well known in Eirkcadbrigfat, 
but the hiUj has become a mill^ and the fairies Brownies. The 
fairies of Kirkcudbright seem to have carried off children, like 
the Island Elves ; to have borrowed meal, like those of Suther- 
land, and to have behaved like their brethren elsewhere. The 
following four stories were got for me by the sisters of Miss Mary 
Lindsay, who has lived so long with us as to have become one of 
the family. 


Kirkcudbright, Tuesdaff, Feb, 1859. 

My Dear Mary, — I went to Johnny Nicholson last 
night, and he told me the following fairy story. I must 
give it in his own words : — 


1. " You have been often at the Gatehouse," said he, 
well, you'll mind a flat piece of land near Enrick farm ; 
well, that was once a large loch ; a long way down from 
there is still the ruin of a mill, which at that time was fed 
from this lochi. Well, one night about the Hallowe'en 
times, two young ploughmen went to a smiddy to get their 
socks (of their ploughs) and colters repaired, and in passing 
the said mill on their way home again they heard music 
and dancing, and fiddling, and singing, and laughing, and 
talking ; so one of the lads would be in to see what was 
going on ; the other waited outside for hours, but his com- 
panion never came out again, so he went home assured 
tliat the brownies had got hold of him. About the same 
time the following year, the same lad went again to the 


smiddy on the same errand, and this time he took another 
lad with him, but had the precaution to put the Bible in 
his pocket. Well, in passing the mill the second time, he 
heard the same soimds of music and dancing. This time, 
having the Bible in his hand, he ventured to look in, 
when who should he see but his companion whom he had 
left standing there that day twelvemonths. He handed 
him the Bible, and the moment he did so, the music and 
dancing c«ased, the lights went out, and all was darkness ; 
but it is not said what his companion had seen or had been 
doing all that time." 

2. Another story he told me was about a boy of the name 
of Williamson, whose father, an Irish linen packman, was 
drowned on his way from Ireland, where he had gone to 
purchase linen ; so the boy was brought up by his mother 
and grandfather, an old man of the name of Sproat, who 
lived in Borgue. The boy disappeared often for two and 
three, and often ten days at a time, and no one knew 
where he went, as he never told when he returned, though 
it was understood the fgdries took him away. Upon one 
occasion the Laird of Barmagachan was getting his peats 
cast, and all the neighbours round were assisting. At this 
time the boy had been away for ten days, and they were 
all wondering where he could be, when lo and behold, the 
boy is sitting in the midst of them. " Johnny," said one 
of the company, who were all seated in a ring, eating their 
dinner, " where did ye come from ?" "I came with our 
folks," said the boy (meaning the fairies). " Your folks ; 
who are they ?" " Do you see yon barrow of peats a coup- 
ing into yon hole ? there's where I came from." An old 
man of the name of Brown, ancestor of the Browns of 
Langlands, who are stUl living in Borgue, advised the 
grandfather to send the boy to the Papist priest, and he 
would give him something that would frighten away the 
fairies ; so they accordingly sent the boy, and when he 
returned home he wore a cross hung roimd his neck by a 


bit of black ribbon. When the minister and kirk-session 
heard of it they exconinmnicated the old grandfather and 
old Brown for advising such a thing. They believed in 
fairies, but not in anything a Papist priest could do. How- 
ever, the boy was never after taken away ; and some of the 
oldest men now alive remember that boy as an old man. 
The whole affair is recorded in the books of the kirk-ses- 
sion of Borgue, and are to be seen any day. 

3. One day as a mother was sitting rocking her baby to 
sleep, she was surprised, on looking up, to see a lady of 
elegant and courtly demeanour, so unlike any one she had 
ever seen in that part of the country, standing in the 
middle of the room. She had not heard any one enter, 
therefore you may judge it was with no little surprise, not 
unmingled with curiosity, that she rose to welcome her 
strange visitor. She handed her a chair, but she very 
politely declined to be seated. She was very magnificently 
attired ; her dress was of the richest green, embroidered 
round with spangles of gold, and on her head was a small 
coronet of pearls. The woman was still more surprised at 
her strange request. She asked, in a rich musical voice, if 
she would oblige her with a basin of oatmeal. A basinful 
to overflowing was immediately handed to her, for the 
woman's husband being both a farmer and miller, had 
plenty of meal at command. The lady promised to return 
it, and named the day she would do so. One of the chil- 
dren put out her hand to get hold of the grand lady's 
spangles, but told her mother afterwards that she felt 
nothing. The mother was afraid the child would lose the 
use of her hands, but no such calamity ensued. It would 
have been very ungrateful in her fairy majesty if she had 
struck the child powerless for touching her dress, if indeed 
such power were hers. But to return to our story, the 
very day mentioned, the oatmeal was returned, not by the 
same lady, but by a curious little figure with a yelping 
voice ; she was likewise dressed in green. After handing 


the meal she yelped out, " Braw meal, it*s the top pickle of 
the sin com." It was excellent ; and what was very strange, 
all the family were advised to partake of it but one ser- 
vant lad, who spumed the fairy*s meal ; and he dying 
shortly after, the miller and his wife firaaly believed it was 
because he refused to eat of the meal. They also firmly be- 
lieved their first visitor was no less a personage than the Queen 
of the Fairies, who having dismissed her court, had not 
one maid of honour in waiting to obey her commands. A 
few nights after this strange visit, as the miller was going 
to bed, a gentle tap was heard at the door, and on its being 
opened by him, with a light in his hand, there stood a 
little figure dressed in green, who, in a shrill voice, but 
very polite manner, requested him to let on the water and 
set the mill in order, for she was going to grind some 
com. The miller did not dare to refuse, so did as she 
desired him. She told him to go to bed again, and he 
would find all as he had left it. He found everything 
in the morning as she said he would. So much for the 
honesty of fairies. 

4. A tailor was going to work at a farm-house early one 
morning. He had just reached it, and was going to enter, 
when he heard a shrill voice call out, " Kep fast, will ye f* 
and on looking quickly roimd, he was just in time to re- 
ceive in his arms a sweet, little, smiling baby of a month 
old, instead of a little lady in green, who was standing to 
receive the child. The tailor turned and ran home as fast 
as he could, for tailors are generally nimble kind of folks, 
and giving the baby to his wife, ran off again to his work, 
leaving his better half in no pleasant mood with the little 
intruder, as she very politely termed the little innocent. 
Having reached the farm-house, the tailor found the inhabi- 
tants all thrown into confusion by the screaming, yelping, 
little pest, as they called their little nurseling, for the 
little woman in green had given in exchange this little 
hopeful for their own sweet little one, which was safe with 


the tailor^s wife. They found out afterwaxda it was the 
nurse who had done it. The doctor was sent for, but all 
was in vain ; day nor night rest they got none. At last 
one day, all being absent but the tailor, who was there fol- 
lowing his trade, he commenced a discourse with the child 
in the cradle. " Will hae ye your pipes Ì" says the tailor. 
" They're below my head," says the tenant of the cradle, 
" Play me a spring," says the tailor. Like thought, the 
little man, jumping from the cradle, played round the room 
with great glee. A curious noise was heard meantime out- 
side ; and the tailor asked what it meant. The little elf 
called out, " It*s my folk wanting me," and away he fled 
up the chimney, leaving the tailor more dead than alive. 
Their own child was brought home, the guilty nurse dis- 
missed, and the tailor's wife amply rewarded for the care 
of the child. She was heard to say, ^* It was a glad sight 
the wee bit baim." 

5. The Macgowans of Grayscroft inTongland,and latterly 
of Bogra, had the power of witchcraft to a considerable 
extent, and it descended from one generation to another. 
At the time we refer to, Abraham Macgowan and his 
daughter Jenny resided at Grayscroft. Jenny had an un- 
limited power from Old Nick to act as she pleased. The 
ploughmen at that time in their employ were Harry Dew 
and Davie Gordon, young men about twenty-two years of 
age ; they had been there for the last twelve months ; and 
conversing one day together, the following took place : — ^ 

Harry — ^^ Losh man, Davie, what makes ye sae drowsy, 
lazy, and sleepy-Hke the day, for I am verra sure ye work 
nae mair than I do ; ye eat the same and sleep the same 
as I do, and yet ye are so thru and wearied and hungry- 
like, I dinna ken ava what ails ye ; are ye weel eneugh, 
Davie ?" " Tm weel eneugh, Harry, but it*s a' ye ken 
about it ; sleep a night or twa at the bedside, and maybe 
you'll no be sae apt to ask me sic questions again. Harry 


— " The bedside, Davie ! what differ will that make ? I 
hae nae mair objections to sleep there than at the wa'. " 
This being agreed to, they exchanged places. Nothing 
occurred to disturb either of them till the third night, 
although Harry kept watch ; their bed was on the stable 
loft, when, about midnight, the stable door was opened 
cautiously, and some one was heard (by Harry only) coming 
up the ladder and to the bedside, with a quiet step. A 
bridle was held above the one next the bedside, and the 
words, " Up horsey," whispered in his ear ; in one moment 
Harry was transformed into a horse at the stable door. 
The saddle was got on with some kicking and plunging, 
but Jenny gets mounted, and off theysetby theElfcraigs,Auld 
Brig o* Tongland, the March Cleughs, and on till they 
reach the Auld Kirk of Buittle. Harry was tied to the 
gate along with others. Meg o' Glengap was there on her 
dairymaid, now a bonny mare, neat in all her proportions. 
" Tib" o' Criffle came on her auld ploughman, rather wind- 
broken. " Lizzy," frae the Bennan, came on her cot wife, 
limping with a swelled knee. " Moll o' the Wood" came 
on a herd callant frae the " How o' Siddick." When all the 
horses were mustered, there was some snorting and kicking 
and neighing amongst them. Fairies, witches, brownies, and 
all met in the kirk and had a blithe holiday, under the 
patronage of his Satanic majesty, which continued till the 
crowing of the cock. Wearied with his gallop, Harry, 
when the charmed bridle was taken off, found himself in 
his own bed and in his own shape. Harry is determined 
to be revenged ; he finds the charmed bridle in a hole in 
the kitchen in a week after ; he tries it on Jenny, using 
the same words, when Jenny is transformed into the auld 
brown mare of the farm ; he takes her to the neighbouring 
smithy, and gets her, after much ado, shod all round, when 
he returns and leaves her, after securing the wonderful 

Next morning Harry is ordered to go for a doctor, as 
his mistress has taken ill. He goes into the house to ask 


for her ; pulls the bed clothes off her, and discovers there 
was a horse shoe on each hand and foot, when Hany says, 
" Jenny, my lass, that did ye." Jenny played many more 
similar tricks on her neighbour lads and lasses. 


In Sutherland the fairy creed is much the same as else- 
where in Scotland, but there is a generic term for super- 
natural beings, which is rarely used in West Country Gaelic. 
Here are a few of a large and very good collection of 
Sutherland stories. 

1 . Duncan, sumamed More, a respectable farmer in Bade- 
noch, states as follows : — " A matter of thirty summers ago, 
when I was cutting peats on the hill, my old mother that 
was, was keeping the house. It was sowens she had in her 
hand for our supper, when a little old woman walked in and 
begged a lippie of meal of her. My mother, not knowing 
her face, said, * And where do you come from ?' * I come 
from my own place and am short of meal.' My mother, 
who had plenty by her in the house, spoke her civil, and 
bound her meal on her back, following her a few steps 
from the door. She noticed that a little kiln in the hill 
side was smoking. The wife saw this too, and said, ' Take 
back your meal, we shall soon have meal of our own.' 
My mother pressed ours on her ; but she left the pock 
lying ; and when she came to the running bum went out 
of sight ; and my mother just judged it was a fairy." 

2. Once upon a time there was a tailor and his wife, who 
owned a small croft or farm, and were well to do in the 
world ; but had only one son, a child, that was more pain 
than pleasure to them, for it cried incessantly, and was so 
cross that nothing could be done with it. One day the 


tailor and his helpmeet meant to go to a place some miles 
distant, and after giving the child its breakfast, they put 
it to bed in the kitchen, and bid their farm servant look 
to it from time to time ; desiring him also to thrash out a 
small quantity of straw in the bam before their return. 
The lad was late of setting to work, but recollected before 
going off to the bam, that he must see if the child wanted 
for anything. " What are you going to do now," said the 
baim sharply to Donald, as he opened the kitchen door. 
'* Thrash out a pickle of straw for your father ; lie still 
and do not ffirUf like a good baim." But the baim got 
out of bed, and insisted then and there in being allowed to 
accompany the servant. " Go east, Donald," said the little 
master, authoritatively, " Gro east, and when ye come to 
the big brae, chap ye (anglicè rap) three times ; and when 
tket/ come, say ye are seeking Johnnie's flail." The aston- 
ished Donald did as he was bid, and by rapping three 
times, called up a fairy ("little man") who giving him the 
flail, sent him off with it in an unenviable state of terror. 

Johnny set too with a will, and in an hour's time, he 
and Donald had thrashed the whole of the straw in the 
bam ; he then sent Donald back to the brae, where the 
flail was restored with the same ceremony, and went 
quietly back to bed. At dusk the parents returned ; and 
the admiration of the tailor at the quantity and quality of 
the work done, was so great, that he questioned Donald as 
to which of the neighbours had helped him to thrash out 
so much straw. Donald, trembling, confessed the truth ; 
and it became painfully evident to the tailor and his wife 
that the child was none of theirs. They agreed to dislodge 
it as soon as possible, and chose as the best and quickest 
way of doing so, to put it into a creel (open basket), and 
set it on the fire. No sooner said then done ; but no 
sooner had the child felt the fire, than starting from the 
creel, it vanished up the chimney. A low crying noise at 
the door attracted their attention ; they opened, and a 
bonny little baim (which the mother recognised by its 


fpock to be her own, stood shivering outside. It was wel- 
comed with rapture from its sojourn among " the little 
people," and grew up to be a douse and wise-like lad, says 

3. The bum of Invemauld, and the hill of Durchà, on 
the estate of Roseh^, are still believed to be haunted by 
the fairies, who once chased a man into the sea, and de- 
stroyed a new mill, because the earth for the embankment 
of the mill-dam had been dug from the side of their hill. 
The hill of Durchà is also the locality assigned for the 
following tale : — 

4. A man, whose wife had just been delivered of her first- 
bom, set off with a friend to the town of Lairg, to have 
the child's birth entered in the session-books, and to buy a 
cask of whisky for the christening fete. As they returned, 
weary with a day's walk or as it is called in the High- 
lands " travellings^ they sat down to rest at the foot of 
this hill, near a large hole, from which they were, ere long, 
astonished to hear a sound of piping and dancing. The 
father feeling very curious, entered the cavern, went a few 
steps in, and disappeared. The story of his fate sounded 
less improbable then than it would now ; but his com- 
panion was severely animadverted on ; and when a week 
elapsed, and the baptism was over, and still no signs of the 
lost one's return, he was accused of having murdered his 
friend. He denied it, and again and again repeated the 
tale of his friend's disappearance down the cavern's mouth. 
He begged a year and a day's law to vindicate himself, if 
possible ; and used to repair at dusk to the fatal spot, and 
call and pray. The term allowed him had but one more 
day to run, and as usual, he sat in the gloaming by the 
cavern, when, what seemed his friend's shadow, passed 
within it. He went down, heard reel tunes and pipes, and 
suddenly descried the missing man tripping merrily with 
the fairies. He caught him by the sleeve, stopped him, 


and pulled him out. " Bless me ! why could you not let 
me finish my reel, Sandy ?" " Bless me !** rejoined Sandy, 
" have you not had enough of reeling this last twelve- 
month ?" " Last twelvemonth !" cried the other, in amaze- 
ment ; nor would he believe the truth concerning himseK 
till he found his wife sitting by the door with a yearling 
child in her arms, so quickly does tiije pass in the com- 
pany of THE ^^ good people!^ 

5. Of the Drocht na Vougha or Fuoah — ^the bridge of 
the fairies or kelpies, now called the Gissen Briggs, a bar 
across the mouth of the Dornoch Frith. It is said that 
the Voughas being tired of crossing the estuary in cockle 
shells, resolved to build a bridge across its mouth. It 
was a work of great magnificence, the piers and posts, 
and all the piles being headed and mounted with pure 
gold. Unfortunately, a passer by lifted up his hands 
and blessed the workmen and the work ; the former va- 
nished ; the latter sank beneath the green waves, where 
the sand accumulating, formed the dangerous quicksands 
which are there to this day. 

6. The Highlanders distinguish between the water and 
land or dressed fairies. I have given one story which 
shows that they are supposed to be " spirits in prison ;" it 
is not the only legend of the kind. In a Ross-shire nar- 
rative, a beautiful green lady is represented as appearing 
to an old man reading the Bible, and seeking to know, 
if for such as her. Holy Scripture held out any hope of 
salvation. The old man spoke kindly to her ; but said, 
that in these pages there was no mention of salvation for 
any but the sinful sons of Adam. She flung her arms 
over her head, screamed, and plunged into the sea. They 
will not steal a baptized child ; and " Bless you ! " said to an 
imbaptized one, is a charm against them. A woman out 
shearing had laid her baby down under a hedge, and went 
back from time to time to look at it. She was going once 



to give it Slick, when it began to yell and cry in such a 
frightful way thaf she was quite alarmed. " Lay it down 
and leave it, as you value your child/' said a man reaping 
near her ; half an hour later she came back, and finding 
the child apparently in its right mind again, she gave it 
the breast. The man smiled, told her that he had seen 
her own infant carried off by the " good people," and a fairy 
changeling leffc in its place. When the '^folk'' saw that 
their screaming little imp was not noticed, and got nothing, 
they thoi^ht it best to take it back and replace the little boy. 
As fairies are represented as having always food, and 
riches, and power, and memment at command, it cannot 
be temporal advantages that they seek for their children, 
probably some spiritual ones are hoped for by adoption or 
marriage with human beings, as in the romantic legend of 
Undine ; and that this tempts them to foist their evil dis- 
posed little ones on us. They never maltreat those whom 
they carry away. 


The Badenoch account of the fairies is much the same. 
I have received eight stories from a Highland minister, who 
has been kind enough to interest hin^elf in the matter, at 
the request of the Countess of Seafield. These show, that 
according to popular belief, fairies commonly carried off 
men, women, and children, who seemed to die, but really 
lived underground. In short, that mortals were separated 
from fEuries by a very narrow line. 

1. A man sees fairies carding and spinning in a sheal- 
ing where he is living at the time. Amongst them is Miss 
Emma MacPherson of Climy, who has been dead about one 
hundred years. 

2. A woman benighted, gets into a faiiy hill, where 
VOL. n. p 


Rhe promises to give her child, on condition that she is let 
out. She gives her child when it is bom, and is allowed 
to visit it ^^ till such time as the child, upon one occasion 
looked at her sternly in the face, and in a very displeased 
mood and tone upbraided her for the manner in which she 
had acted in giving her child over unto those amongst 
whom it was now doomed to dwell." The mother scolded, 
foimd herself standing on the hillock outside, and never 
got in again. 

3. A lad recognizes his mother, who had been carried 
off by fairies, but who was believed to be dead. She was 
recovered from the fEÙries by a man who threw his })onnet 
to a passing party, and demanded an exchange. The res- 
cuer gave up the wife, and she returned home. Of this 
story I have several other versions in Gaelic and in Eng- 
lish, and I believe it is in print somewhere. 

4. An old woman meets her deceased landlord and land- 
lady, who tell her that the fairies have just carried off a 
young man, who is supposed to be dead. They advise her 
not to be out so late. 

5. The young Baron of Kincardine is entertained by- 
fairies, who steal his fetther's snuff for hini when he asks 
for a pincL 

6. The young baron meets a bogle with a red hand, 
tells, and is punished. 

7. The baron's dairymaid, when at a shealing, has a 
visit from a company of fairies, who dance and steal milk. 

8. " A man, once upon a time, coming up from Inver- 
ness late at night, coming through a solitary part called 
Sloekmuir, was met by crowds of people, none of whom 
he could recognize, nor did they seem to take any notice 


of him. They engaged in close conversation, talked on 
subjects not a word of which he could pick up. At length 
accosting one individual of them, he asked who they were ? 
' None of the seed of Abram nor of Adam's race ; but men 
of that party who lost favour at the Court of Grace/ " He 
was advised not to practice late at night travelling in 

Thomas MacDonald, gamekeeper at Dunrobia, also gives 
me a fairy tale, which is " now cammofdy believed in Ba- 

9. A man went from home, leaving his wife in childbed. 
Her temper had never been ruffled. He found her a 
wicked scold. Thinking all was not right, he pOed up a 
great fire, and threatened to throw in the occupant of the 
bed, unless she told hiTn " where his own wife had been 
brought She told him that his wife had been carried to 
Cnoc Praing, a mountain on the borders of Badenoch and 
Strathdeam, and that she was appointed successor. 

The man went to Cnoc Fraing. He was suspected 
before of having something supernatural about him ; and 
he soon found the fairies, who told hini his wife had been 
taken to Shiathan Mor, a neighbouring moimtain. He 
went there and was sent to Tom na Shirich, near Inverness. 
There he went, and at the " Fairy Knoll" found his wife 
and brought her back. " The person who related this story 
pretended to have seen people who knew distant descendants 
of the fooman,^ 


The Ross-shire account of fairies is again much the 
same. The people say very little about them, and those 
who have been kind enough to note stories picked up amongst 
their less instructed neighbours, have only sent fresh evi- 

jii,_il.iJi.. BFTT7^ir?riii Tiv ^.iTV.^i'n^-r 


dence to prove that the fiaiiy creed is the same there as 
everywhere, and that it is not quite extinct 

1. I have a story, got through the kindness of Mr. Osgord 
Mackenzie, in which a Lowland minister speaks slightingly 
of the fairies. " He was riding home through a dark glen, 
and through an oak wood, where there was many a green 
tolman (moimd). He was surroimded by a squad of little 
men, leaping before hini and dancing behind him. They 
took him off the horse and carried him up through the 
skies, his head under him now, and his feet under again, 
the world running round ; and at last they dropped him 
near his own house. 

2. In another story, a lot of fairies borrow a weaver's 
loom at night, without his leave, and make a web of green 
cloth from stolen wool. 


There was in Beàmairidh in the Harris, a man coming 
past a knoll, and taking the road, and he heard churning 
in the hill. Thirst struck him. " I had rather," said he, 
that my thirst was on the herdswoman." He had not 
gone but about twenty rods away when a 'Woman met him, 
and she had a fine green petticoat on tied about her waist, 
and she had a vessel of warm milk between her two hands. 
She offered him a draught, and he would not take it. 

" Thou one that sought my draught, and took not my 
draught, mayest thou not be long alive." 

He went to the narrows, and he took a boat there 
over ; and coming over the narrows he was drowned. 

Bha annn am Beàraairìdh annns na h-Earadh, fear a' tigbinn 
seachad air cnoc a' gabhail an rathaid agus chaal e aunns a* chnoc 
inaistreadh. Bhnail am pathadh e. ** B" fheàrr leom," ars* esan. 


" gon robh mo phathadh air a* bbanachaig." Gha deach e ach mu 
thnairean fichead slat a!r falbh, an nair a choinnich boireannach e, 
agoB còta brìagh, nain* nrr' air a cheanghal mil 'miadhon, agos 
caman bUitbaich aic* eadar a da làimh. Tbairg i da deocb, 's cha 
ghabbadh e L '* Fbir a dh* iarr mo dheocb, 'a nach do gbabh mo 
dbeoch,iia mu fada *bhios thu beò." Gbabh e 'ionnstiidb a choalais, 
agog gbabh e bat' a sin thairis, 's a' tighian thairis air a* chaolas 

From Malcobn MacLean, who learnt it from his grandfather, 
Hagh MacLean. 

North Uist, August 11, 1859. 

The Argyleshire stories, which I can well remember as 
a child, are of the same stamp. The fairies lived in hills, 
they came ont now and then and carried people away ; 
and they spent their time inside their dwellings in dancing 
to the pipes. They stole milk, and they were overcome 
by charms, which men sold to those who believed in them. 
Tliey could not withstand a rowan-tree cross ; nor could 
they follow over a running stream. 

There is a small waterfall in a wood which I kaow, 
where it used to be said that the fairies might be seen on 
moonlight nights, fishing for a magic chain from boats of 
sedge leaves. They used to drag this chain through the 
meadows where the cattle fed, and the milk came all to 
them, till a lad, by the advice of a seer, seized one end of 
the chain and ran for his life, with the fairy troop in pur- 
suit ; he leaped the lin and dropped the chain ; and the 
lin is called the chain lin still. 


The Manks fairy creed is again the same. Similar 
beings are supposed to exist, and are known by the name 
of Ferish, which a Manksman assured me was a genuine 
Manks word. If so, fairy may be old Celtic, and derived 


from the same root as Peri, instead of being derived 
from it. 

The fedries in the Isle of Man are believed to be spirits. 
They are not supposed to throw arrows as they are said 
still to do in the Highlands. None of the old peasants 
seemed to take the least interest in '' elf shots/' the flint 
arrows, which generally lead to a story when shown else- 
where. One old man said, " The ferish have no body, no 
bones/* and scorned the arrow heads. It is stated in 
Train's history, that no flint-arrow heads have ever been 
found in the Isle of Man; but as there are numerous bar- 
rows, flint weapons may yet be discovered when some one 
looks for them. 

StUL these Manks fairies are much the same as their 
neighbours on the main land. They go into mills at 
night and grind stolen com; they steal milk from the 
cattle; they live in green moimds; in short, they are like 
little mortals invested with supernatural power, thus: 
There was a man who lived not long ago near Port Erin, 
who had a Lhiannan shee. " He was like other people, 
but he had a fedry sweetheart; but he noticed her, and 
they do not like being noticed, the fairies, and so he lost 
his mind. Well, he was quite quiet like other people, 
but at night he slept in the bam; and they used to hear 
him talking to his sweetheart, and scolding her sometimes ; 
but if any one made a noise he would be quiet at once." 

Now, the truth of this story is clear enough; the man 
went mad ; but his madness took the form of the popular 
belief, and that again attributed his madness to the fairy 
mistress. I am convinced that this was believed to be a 
case of genuine fairy intercourse; and it shows that the 
fairy creed still survives in the Isle of Man. 


The same is true of Devonshire. In May 1860 I was 
told that many of the farmers '^ are so superstitious as to 


beKeve in Piskibs;" they are *' never seen, but they are 
often heard laughing at people in the dark, and they lead 
them away." My informant said that when he was young 
he used to hear so many stories about piskies from the old 
women about the fireside, that he used to be frightened to 
go out at night. 

" When the young colts are out running wild, their, 
manes get rough and hang down on both sides, and get 
tangled with the wind Kke; not Kke manes of horses that 
are well kept (here the speaker pointed with his whip at 
the sleek pair which he was driving); and when the far- 
mers find stirrups like in the hair of the mane, they say 
the piskies has been a ridin' of them." 

In short, this notice of fairy belief might be extended 
to fill volumes ; every green knoll, every weU, every hill 
in the Highlands, has some fairy legend attached to it. In 
the west, amongst the unlearned, the legends are firmly 
believed. Peasants never talk about fairies, for they live 
amongst them and about them. In the east the belief is 
less strong, or the believers are more ashamed of their 
creed. In the Lowlands, and even in England, the stories 
survive, and the belief exists, though men have less time 
to think about it. In the south the fairy creed of the 
peasants has been altered, but it still exists, as is proved 
occasionally in courts of law. There is a ghost which 
walks under the North Bridge in Edinburgh ; and even in 
the cultivated upper strata of society in this our country, 
in Fiance, and elsewhere, fairy superstition has only gone 
down before other stronger beliefs, in which a table is 
made the sole partition between this world and the next. 
Whether we are separated from the other world by a deal 
board or a green mound, does not seem to make much 
difiTerence ; and yet that is the chief difference between 
the vagrant beliefs of the learned and unlearned. 

An old highlander declared to me that he was once in 
a boat with a man who was struck by a fairy arrow. He 


had the arrow for a long time ; it was slender like a sti^w 
for thickness. He himself drew it out of the temple of 
the other man, where it was stuck in the skin through the 
bonnet. They were then miles from shore, fishing. A 
man, whom the fames were in the habit of carrying about 
from island to island, told him that he had himself thrown, 
the dart at the man in the boat by desire of them; '^ they 
made him do it.** 

My informant evidently believed he was speaking 
truth, as my more educated friends do when they tell me 
sgeulachd about Mr. Hume. 

For my own part, I believe all my friendg ; but I 
cannot believe in fairies, or that my forbears have become 
slaves of a table to be summoned at the will of a quack. 
I believe that there is a stock of old credulity smoulder- 
ing near a store of old legends, in some corner of every 
mind, and that the one acts on the other, and produces a 
fresh legend and a new belief whenever circumstances are 
favourable to the growth of such weeds. At all events, I 
am quite sure that the fairy creed of the peasantry, as I 
have learned it from them, is not a whit more unreason- 
able than the bodily appearance of the hand of Napoleon 
the First to Napoleon the Third in 1860, as it is described 
in print; and the grave books which are written on 
" Spiritual Manifestations" at home and abroad. What is 
to be said of the table which became so familiar with a 
young lady, that it followed her up stairs and jumped on 
to the sofa. 



THE Feen were once, and their hunting failed, and 
they did not know what they should do. They 
were going ahout strands and shores gathering limpets, 
and to try if they should fall in with a pigeon or a 
plover. They were holding counsel together how they 
should go to get game. They reached a hiU, and 
sleep came on them. What should Fionn see but a 
dream. That it was at yon crag of rock that he would 
be, the longest night that came or will come ; that 
he would be driven backwards till he should set his 
back to the crag of rock. He gave a spring out of 
his sleep. He struck his foot on Diarmid's mouth, 
and he drove out three of his teeth. Diarmid caught 
hold of the foot of Fionn, and he drove an ounce of 
blood fix)m every nail he had. " Ud ! what didst thou 
to me !" — " What didst thou thyself do to me 1"—" Be 
not angry, thou son of my sister. When I tell thee the 
reason, thou wilt not take it ill." — " What reason ?" 
— " I saw a dream that at yonder crag I would pass the 
hardest night I ever passed ; that I should be driven 
backwards till I should set my back to the crag, and 
there was no getting off from there. " " What's our fear ! 
Who should frighten us ! Who will come !" "I fear, 
88 we are in straits just now, that if this lasts we may 
become useless." They went and they cast lots who 


should go and who should stay. The Feinn altogether 
wished to go. Fionn was not willing to go, for fear 
the place should he taken out before they should come 
(back). "I wiU not go," said Fionn. "Whether 
thou goest or stayest, we will go," said they. 

lie rest went, but Fionn did not go. They stop- 
ped, on the night when they went, at the root of a 
tree ; they made a booth, and they began to play at 
cards. Said Fionn, when the rest were gone, " I put 
him &om amongst heroes and warriors any man that will 
follow me out" They followed after Fionn. They 
saw a light before them, and they went forward where 
the light was. Who were here but the others playing 
at cards, and some asleep ; and it was a fine frosty 
night Fionn hailed them so stately and bravely. 
WTien they heard the speaking of Fionn, those who 
were laid down tried to rise, and the hair was stuck to 
the ground. They were pleased to see their master. 
Pleasant to have a stray hunting night They went 
home. Groing past a place where they used to house, 
they saw a housa They asked what house was that. 
They told them there was the house of a hunter. 
They reached the house, and there was but a woman 
within, the wife of the fine green kirtle. She said to 
them, " Fionn, son of Cumal, thou art welcome here." 
They went in. There were seven doors to the house. 
Fionn asked his gillies to sit in the seven door& They 
did that Fionn and his company sat on the one side 
of the house to breathe. The woman went out When 
she came in, she said, " Fionn, son of Cumal, it is long 
since I was wishing thy welfare, but its little I can do 
for thee to-night. The son of the king of the people 
of Danan is coming here, with his eight hundred full 
heroes, this night.'' "Yonder side of the house be 
theirs, and this side ours, unless there come men of 


Eiriim." Then they came, and they sat within. " You 
will not let a man on our side," said Fionn, " unless 
there comes one that belongs to our own company." 
The woman came in again, saying, " The middle son of 
the king of the people of Danan is coming, and his 
five hundred brave heroes with him." They came, 
and more of them staid without on a knoU. She 
came in again, saying, " The youngest son of the king 
of the people of Danan is coming, and his five hundred 
swift heroes with him." She came in again, saying, 
"That Gallaidh was coming, and five hundred full 
heroes." — " This side of the house be ours, and that 
be theirs, unless there come of the men of Eirinn." 
The people of Danan made seven ranks of themselves, 
and the fourth part of them could not cram in. They 
were still without a word. There came a gillie home 
with a boar that had found death from leanness and 
without a good seeming, and he throws that in front 
of Fionn with an insult. One of Fionn's gillies caught 
hold of him, and he tied his four smalls, and threw 
him below the board, and they spat on him. " Loose 
me, and let me stand up ; I was not in faulty though 
it was I that did it^ and I will bring thee to a boar as 
good as thou ever ate." — " I wiU do that," said Fionn ; 
"but though thou shouldst travel the five-fifths of 
Eiiinn, unless thou comest before the day comes, I will 
catch thee." They loosed him ; he went away, and 
gillies with him. They were not long when they got 
a good boar. They came with it, and they cooked it, 
and they were eating it "A bad provider of flesh 
art thou," said Gfillaidh to Fionn. '^ Thou shalt not 
have that any longer to say ;" and the jaw-bone was in 
his hand. He raised the bone, and he killed seven 
men from every row of the people of Danan, and this 
made them stop. Then a gillie came home, and the 


black dog of the people of Danan with him, seeking a 
battle of dogs. Every one of them had a pack of dogs, 
and a dozen in every pack. The first one of them 
went and slipped the first dozen. The black dog killed 
the dozen ; he killed them by the way of dozen and 
dozen, till there was left but Bran in loneliness. 
Said Fionn to Conan, "Let slip Bran, and, unless 
Bran makes it out, we are done." He loosed him. 
The two dogs began at each other. It was not long 
till Bran began to take driving ; they took fear when 
they saw that ; but what was on Bran but a venemous 
claw. There was a golden shoe on the claw of Venom, 
and they had not taken off the shoe. Bran was look- 
ing at Conan, and now Conan took off the shoe ; and 
now he went to meet the black dog again ; and at the 
third " spoch" he struck on him ; he took his throat 
out Then he took the heart and the liver out of his 
chest. The dog took out to the knoll ; he knew that 
foes were there. He began at them. A message came 
in to Fionn that the dog was doing much harm to the 
people without. " Come," said Fionn to one of the 
gUlies, "and check the dog." The gillie went out, 
and (was) together with the dog ; a message came in 
that the giUie was working worse than the dog. From 
man to man they went out till Fionn was left within 
alone. The Feen killed the people of Danan alto- 
gether. The lads of the Feen went out altogether, and 
they did not remember that they had left Fionn 
within. When the children of the king saw that the 
rest were gone, they said that they would get the head 
of Fionn and his heart. They began at him, and they 
drove him backwards till he reached a crag of rock. 
At the end of the house he set his back to it, and he 
was keeping them off. Now he remembered the dream. 
He was tightly tried. Fionn had the " Ord Fianna," 


and when he was in extremity it would sound of itself, 
and it would he heard in the five-fifths of Eirinn. The 
gillies heard it ; they gathered and returned. He was 
alive, and he was no more. They raised him on the 
points of their spears : he got better. They killed the 
sons of the king, and all that were ahve of the people, 
and they got the chase as it ever was. 


Bba 'n Fhinn nair agas cheileadh an t-aeilg orra, *s cha robh fios aca 
dè dhianadh eud. Bha end a' falbh feadh tragha as cladach a' cruinn- 
eachadh bhàirneach, 's fench an aimseadli cahnan na feadag orra. 
Bha eud a' gabhail comhairle comhlaairson gum falbhadh eudairson 
aeOgfhaotainn. Ràinig eud cnoc 's thàinig cadal orra. D^ cbunnaic 
Ronn ach bniadar, gur h' ann aig a' cbarragh chreig* ud shios a 
bhiodb e 'n oidhcbe a V fhaide leis a tbig na 'thàinig. Gum 
biodb e *ga omain air ais gus an cuireadh e 'dhriom ris a' cbarragh 
chrdge. Thug e leum as a cbadal, 's bhuail e chas air bial Dhiarm- 
aid, ^8 chuir e tri fiaclan as. Bug Diarmaid air cas Fhinn *s chuir e 
onnsa fala bbàr h' uile fin' a bb' aige. « Ud de' rinn thu orm?" 
** De rinn thu fhin ormsa?" ** Na gabh thusa miothlacbd a mhic 
mo pheatbar ; nur a db' innseas mi duit an reusan cha gabh thu gu 
don' e." ** De n reusan? " *' Chunna mi bruadar gar h-ann aig a' 
cbarragh sin shios a chuirinn seacbad an oidhcbe bu doirbbe chuir 
mi riabb; gnm bithinn air m' iomain air m' ais gus an cuirinn 
mo dhriom ris a' cbarragh, 's cha robh dol as an sin." ** De 's eagal 
doinn? Co chuireadh eagal oimn? Co tbig?" Arsa Diarmaid, 
** Tha eagal orm, a's sinn air anacotbrom an drasd, ma leanas so gum 
fagar gun fheum sinn." Arsa Fionn, Dh' fhalbh end 's thilg eud 
ooinn CO dh' fbalbbadh 's co dh' fbanadh. Bha 'n Fh^inn nil' airson 
folbh. Cha robh Fionn deònach folbb, eagal gun d' tbugt' amach an 
t-yte ma *n d' uigeadh eud. "Cha n fholbh mi," ursa Fionn, «*Còca 
dh' fbolbhaa na dh' fhanas thu falbhaidh sinne," ursa iadaan. Dh' 
fholbh càcb, ach cha d' fholbh Fionn. Stad eud, an oidhcbe sin a dh' 
fholbh cud, aig bonn craoibbe. Rinn eud biith agus tbòìsich eud air- 


iomairt chairtean. Ursa Fionn nor dh' fholbh each, " Tha mi 'ga 
chur a cuid laoich na gaisgich duine sam bith a leanas a mach mi« 
Dh' fholbh end as dèigh Fhinn. Chunnaic eud solusd rompa. Ghabh 
eud air an aghaidh far an robh 'n solusd. Co bha *n so ach each a* 
cluichd air chairtean, 's blaigh nan cadal, *8 oidhche bhriagh reoihaidh 
aniL Chair Fionn fàilt orra go flathail, fialaidh. Kur a choal eud 
bruidhinn Fhinn thug an fheadhain abhana'nlaidhe Ikmh air èiridh^ 
's bha *n gruag air leantail ris a* ghrunnd. Bha eud toilicht* am 
maighstir fhaicinn. Taitneach còrr oidhche seilg fhaotainn, chaldh 
eud than a' bhaile. 'Dol seacbad air kite 'b* àbhaist daibh a bhi 
tighich chunnaic eud tigh, dh' fheoraich eud 's, D4 'n tigh a bha *ii 
siud. Thuirt eud riu gun robh tigh sealgair. Ràinig eud an tigh, 'a 
cha robh stigh ach boireannach. Bean a chòta chaoil uaine. Urs* i 
riu, " Fhinn Mhic Cnmhail 'se do bheatha an so." Chaidh eud a stigh. 
Bha seachd dorsan air an tigh. Dh' iarr Fionn air a ghillean suidhe 
ann an seachd dorsan an tighe. Rinn eud sin. Shuidh Fionn 'sa 
chuideachd san darna taobh de n tigh a ligeil an analach. Chaidh a* 
bhean a mach. Nur a thkinig ì stigh thuirt i, '* Fhinn Mhic Cumhail 
's fhad' o'n a bha mi 'g altachadh le slkinte dhuit, ach 's beag is urra 
mi dheanadh riut a nochd ; tha mac righ sluagh de Danainn a* tigh- 
inn an so a nochd agus ochd ciad Ikn^haisgeach aige." ** An taobh 
ud de 'n tigh acasan, 'san taobh so againne, mar an d' thig e dh' 
fhearaibh Eirinn." ThMnig eud an sin's shuidh eud a stigh. ** Cha 
lig sibh duin' air ar taobhne/' ursa Fionn. " Mar an d' thig duine 
'bhoineas d'ar cuideachd f hin. Thàinig a' bhean a stigh a rithiad 
ag ràdh. *' Tha mac miadhonach righ Sluagh de Dana 'tighinn agus 
còìg ciad treunghaisgeach aige." Thàinig eud 's dh' fhan còrr dhia 
mach air cnoc Thdinig i stigh a rithisd ag rkdh. ** Tha mac is bige 
righ Sluagh de Dana tighinn agus còig ciad Itigh-ghaisgeach leis.*' 
Thkinig i stigh a ris ag rkdh gun robh Gallaidh a' tighinn agus còig 
ciad Ikn ghaisgeach leis. ** An taobh so 'n tigh againne, 's an taobh 
sin acasan, mar an d' thig e dh' fhearaibh Eirinn." Arsa Fionn, 
Rinn an Sluagh de Dana seachd streathan dhiu fhin, 's cha do theachd 
an ceathramh cuid a stigh dhiu. Bha eud na 'n tàmh gun smid. 
Thàinig gille dachaidh le tore a fhuair bks leis a' chaoile, gun sgath 
math, 's tilgear siud air bialthaobh Fhinn letàmailt Rug h-aon de 
ghillean Fhinn air agus cheanghail e cheithir chaoil ; thilg e fo 'n 
bhbrd e 's bha eud a caitheadh smugaidean air. ** Fuasgail mia' 
agus lig 'nam sheasamh mi, cha mhi bu choireach gad is mi rinn e, 
agus bheir mi go tore thu cho math 's a dh' ith thu liabh." " Ni mise 
sin," arsa Fionn, ** ach gad a shihbhla tu cbig chbigeabh na h-Eireann, 
mar an d' thig thu man d' thig an latha, beiridh mis' ort" Dh' 


fhnasgail ead e. Dh' fhalbh e 'a giUean leis. Cha V fhada bha eud 
nur a fhuair end deagh thorc. Thàinig end leis, 'a bhruich ead e, 'a 
bha ead 'ga itheadh. <* S dona 'm biataiche feoV tho," oraa Gallaidh 
li Fionn. '* Cha bhi sin agadsa na 's fhaide r*a ràdh,*' araa Fiona agos 
cnàimh a* chiobhoill aige 'na laimb. Chaith e *n cnàimh, agas mbarbh 
e seachd daoin* as gach streath de n t-Sluagh de Dana, agos choir so 
ead *nan stad. Thàinìg gille an sin dachaidh, 's ch dugh Sluagh de 
Dana leb' aig iarraidh còmhrag chon. Bha lodbainn chon aig a' h-oile 
fear diosan, as dusan anns a' h-uile lodbainn, agas dh' fhalbh a' chiad 
fhear dia agos dh' fhaasgail e chiad dusan. Mharbh an ch dagh an 
dnsan. Mharbh e end a Hon dusan a's dusan, gua nach d' fhàgadh 
ach Bran 'na ònrachd. Ursa Fionn ri Conan, ** Lig fuasgladh do 
Bhran, agos mar dian Bran deih e tha sin deth. Dh' fhuaisgail e e. 
ThòÌBÌch an da chh air a ch^ile. Cha b* fhada gos an do thòiaich 
Bran air gabhail iomanach. Ghabh ead eagal nur a chunnaic eud 
sin ; ach d^ bha air Bran ach crudha nimhe. Bha brbg òir air a' 
cfaradha nimhe, 's cha d' thng eud deth a' bhrbg. Bha Bran ag amh- 
arc air Conan ; 's thug Conan deth a' nis a' bhrbg. Chaidh e nis an 
dkil a' choin duigh a ris, 's air an treas spoch a bhuail e air, thug e 'n 
^gòman as. Thug e 'n sin an cridhe 's an gruan a mach as an uchd 
aige. Ghabh an ch mach than a* chnoic; dh' aithnich gur h-e naimhd- 
ean a bh' ann ; thbisich e orra. Thàinig braih a stigh go Fionn, gon 
robh 'n ch dianadh mòran cron air an t-sluagh a muigh. <<Tballa,'* 
una Fionn, ri fear de na gillean, ** agus caisg an cU." Chaidh ao gille 
mach comhla ris a' chU. ThMnig brath a stigh gon robh an gille *g 
obair na bu mhiosa na 'n ch. O f heai^ go fear chaidh eud a mach goa 
an d' fh^adh Fionn a stigh 'na bnrachd. Mharbh an Fhlnn an 
Snagh de Danainn uile. Dh' fhalbh gillean na Finne mach uile, 's 
cha do chnimhnich eud gun d' fhàg eud Fionn a atigh. Nur a 
chunnaic clann an righ gon d' fhalbh each air fad 'thuirt eud gom 
fiygbeadh eud ceann Fhinn 'sa chridhe. Thbisich eud air, agus dh' 
iomain end air ais e 'gos an d' ràinig e carragh creige aig ceaunn an 
tighe. Chuir e dhriom ris, 's bha e 'gan cumail deth. Chnimhnich e 
'n so air a' bhmadar. Bha e air fheuchainn go teannn. Bha aig 
Fionn an t-brd Fianna, 's nur a bhiodh e 'na èigin sheinneadh 
e leia fhin, agus chluint' aunn an cbig chbigeabh na h-Eireann e. 
Choal na gillean e ; chruinnich eud 's thill eud. Bha e beb, 's cha robh 
tnaiMh air. Thog eud e air bharraibh nan sleagh. Chtudh e 'na b' 
fhrìuT. Mharbh eud mic an righ 'a na bha beb d' an sluagh. Fhuair 
end an t-seilg mur a bha 1 riabh. 

This story is one of the kind asaally called Scanachas na 


Feike,— that is, the tradition, conTersation, or tale or old stories, 
or ancient history, history or hiography (Maòklpine) of the 
people, hest known to English readers as the Fingalians. These 
are called by a collective name, and are spoken of as the Feen or 
Fain. They are generally represented as hunters and warriors 
in Eirinn, but their country is the Feen. Bran's battle and his 
venomous claw in a golden shoe, is more like the fight of a tiger 
or cheetah than an Irish deer-hound. 

The people of Danan are called Taatha de danan, in manu- 
scripts and books,and are supposed to be Scandinavians. The name 
by a slight change in pronunciation, might mean, the daring 
Northerns, the tenants of Danan, or the people of Danan, as here. 
Fionn, in various inflections, is pronounced Feeun, Een, Eeun. 
Ord Fianna would seem to mean hammer of the Feean ; if so. 
Fin may have acquired some of his gear of Thor, or he may be 
the same personage. The " ord Fiannar" is generally supposed 
to be a whistle, which sounded of itself, and was heard over the 
five-fifths of Erin. 

This tale, and No. 24, 25, 26, 27, and the two which 
follow, were told to Hector MacLean "by four individuals, 
Alexander MacDonald, tenant, Barra, Bailebhuirgh, who 
heard them from his grandmother, Mary Gillies, about forty years 
ago, when she was more than eighty ; Neill MacLean, tenant, 
ditto, who learnt them from Donald MacNeill, who died aboat 
five years ago, about eighty years of age ; John Cameron, ditto, 
who heard them from many, but cannot name any in particular. 
They state that these tales were very common in their younger 
days. They are pretty common still. They can tell nothing re- 
specting the tales beyond the persons from whom they learnt 
them; of those from whom they learnt them they know no- 

There are numerous prose tales of the Fingalians in Gaelic 
manuscripts, now in the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh (ac- 
cording to an abstract lent by W. F. Skene, Esq.) One is pro- 
bably the same as this tale; it is No. 4 of the manuscript 
numbered 4, called The Booth of Eochaidh Dearo — ^a tale of 
Fingal decoyed into a tent, and his combats with monsters, 
giants, armies, etc. 

Of this manuscript the author of the abstract, £wen Mac- 


Lachlan, says (1812) : — " This volume is evidently a transcript, 
perhaps Dot older than half a century. The language bespeaks 
high antiquity." 

With the exception of a few words, the language in this 
Barra tale is the ordinary language of the people of the island. 
It seems, then, that this is a remnant of an old tale, rapidly fading 
from memory and mixing with the mapners of the day, but similar 
to tales in manuscripts about one hundred years old, and to tales 
now told in Ireland. See Poems of Osein, Bard of Erin, 1857. 

VOL. n. Q 



rilHERE were out between Lochaber and BaideanacL 
-*- two shepherds who were neighbours to each other, 
and the one would often be going to see the other. 
One was on the east side of a river, and another on the 
west The one who was on the west side of the river 
came to the house of the one who was on the east of 
it on an evening visit. He staid till it was pretty- 
late, and then he wished to go home. " It is time to 
go home," said he. " It is not that which thou shalt 
do, but thou shalt stay to-night^" said the other, 
" since it is so long in the night" " I will not stay 
at aU events ; if I were over the river I don't care 
more." The houseman had a pretty strong son, and 
he said, " I will go with thee, and I will set thee over 
the river, but thou hadst better stay." — " I will not 
stay at aU events." — " K thou wilt not stay I will go 
with thee.'' The son of the houseman called a dog 
which he had herding. The dog went with him. 
When he set the man on the other side of the river, 
the man said to him, " Be returning now, I am far in 
thy debt." The strong lad returned, and the dog with 
him. When he reached the river as he was returning 
back home, he was thinking whether he should take 
the stepping-stones, or put off his foot-clothes and 
take below. He put off his foot-clothes for fear of 


taking the stepping-stones, and when he was over 
there in the riyer, the dog that was with him leaped 
at the back of his head He threw her off him j she 
leaped again ; he did the same thing. When he was 
on the other side of the river, he put his hand on his 
head, and there was not a bit of the bonnet on it. He 
was saying, whether shonld he return to seek the 
bonnet, or should he go home without it " Its dis- 
gusting for me to return home without my bonnet ; I 
will return over yet to the place where I put my foot- 
clothes off me ; I doubt it is there that I left it" So 
he returned to the other side of the river. He saw a 
right big man seated where he had been, and his own 
bonnet in his hand He caught hold of the bonnet, 
and he took it from him. " What business hast thou 
there with that? — It is mine, and thou hadst no 
business to take it from me, though thou hast got it." 
Over the river then they went, without a word for 
each other, fiercely, hatingly. When they went over, 
then, on the river, the big man put his hand under the 
arm of the shepherd, and he began to drag the lad 
down to a loch that was there, against his will and 
against his strengtL They stood front to &ont, 
bravely, firmly on either side. In spite of the strength 
of the shepherd's son, the big man was about to con- 
quer. It was so that the shepherd's son thought of 
putting his hand about an oak tree that was in the 
placa The big man was striving to take him with 
him, and the tree was bending and twisting. At last 
the tree was loosening in the earth. She loosened all 
bat one of her roots. At the time when the last root 
of the tree slipped, the cocks that were about the wood 
crowed The shepherd's son understood when he 
beard the cocks crowing that it was on the short side 
of day. When they heard between them the cocks 


crowing, the big man said, " Thou has stood well, and 
thou hadst need, or thy bonnet had been dear for thee." 
The big man left him, and they never more noticed a 
a thing near the river. 


Bha, mach eadar Locliabar agns Bàideanach, da cbiobair a bba *nan 
nàbudhean aig a ch^ile, 's bhiodh an dama fear, gu bicheanta, dol a dh' 
amharc an fhir eile. Bha fear air taobh na b-aird an iar de 'n abh- 
ainn, 's fear eile air taobh na b-aird an ear. Thkinig am fear a bh' 
air taobh na h-aird an iar de 'n abhainn 'ionnsaidh tigh an fhir a bh' 
air taobh na h-aird an ear di, air cheilidh. *'' Dh' fhan e gos an robh 
e go math anmoch, 's bha e 'n sin debnaeh air dol dacbaidh. ** Tha 'a 
t-am dol dachaidh," urs* esan. ** Cha 'ne sin a ni tha ach fanaidli ta 
nochd," urs' am fear eile, '' on a tha e cho fada 's an oidhche." ** Cha 
'n fhan mi codhin na; *m bithinn thar nah-abhann tha mi coma tuill- 
idh." Bha mac go math làidir aig fear an tighe 's thoirt e. " Thèid 
mise leat *s cairidh mi thar na h-aibhne thu; ach 's fhekrra duit fant> 
ail." ** Cha 'n fhan mi codhiu." «* Mar am fan falbhaidh mise leat." 
Dh* eubh mac fir an tighe air galla 'bh* aig' a' ciobaireachd. Dh* 
fhalbh a' ghalla leis. Nur a chuir e null an duin* air an taobh eile 
de 'n abhainn thuirt an duine ris. " Bl tilleadh a nis tha mi fad ann 
a'd' chomain." Thill an giUe làidir agos a' ghalla comhla ris. i^ur 
a ràinig e 'n abhainn, agus e tilleadh air ais dacbaidh, bha e smaoint- 
eachadh coca a ghabhadh e na sinteagan, na chuireadh e dheth a 
chaisbheart agus a ghabhadh e go h-iseal. Chuir e dheth a chaisbh- 
eart eagal na sinteagan a ghabhail, 's nur a bha e null anns an abh- 
ainn, leum a' ghalla bha leis ann an chl a chinn. Thilg e deth i. 
Leum i rithisd. Rinn e 'n ni cianda. Nur bha e 'n taobh thall de 'n 
abhainn, chuir elàmh air a cheann, 's cha robh spideag de 'n bhoinneid 
air. Bha e 's an ag a gradh coca thilleadh e dh* iarraidh na boinneid, 
na rachadh e dhachaidh as a h' ioghnais. *' 'S ceacharra domh fbàn 
gun till mi dacbaidh gun mo bhoinneid ; tillidh mi null fhathasd gos 
an Mte an do chuir mi dhiom mo chaisbheart ; 's ann ann a tha amh- 
arus agam a dh' fhàg mi i." Thill e 'n so go taobh thaull na h-aibhne. 
Chunnaic e fear ro mhòr 'na shuidhe far an robhe, 'sa bhoinneid fhin 
'na làimh. Rug e air a' bhoinneid *s thug e uaidh' i. ** D4 do ghnothach 
aa risan sin ?** ^* Mo chuid fhin a th' ann, 's nach robh g^othach 


agadsa toirt nam, gad a tfaa i agad.** Nnll, an sin, thar an abhainn 
dh' fhalbh end, *8 gun ffiral aca r'a ch^ile, go fiachach fuachach. Nnr 
a cfaaidh end a null, an sin, air an abhainn choir am fear mòr a làmh 
fo achlais a' chiobair, 's thòisich e air a' ghille a thaminn a sàos gn loch 
a bha *n sin, an aghaidh a thoil *b an aghaidh a neart. Sheas end 
aghaidh ri aghaidh, go treon calm* air gach taobh. A dh* aindeoin 
cho làidir 'a a bha mac a* chiobair bha *m fear mòr a' brath buadhacb^ 
adh. 'Se smaointich mac a* chiobair a nis a làmh a char timchioU air 
craobh dharaich a bha 'san kite. Bha 'm fear mòr a* sti^th ra thoirt 
leia, 's bha chraobh a* lUbadh *s a' f^gadh. Fo dheireadh bha chraobh 
a** foasgladh as an talamh. Dh* fbuasgaH i ach aon fhreomhach di. 
*San am an d* fhuasgail an threamhach ma dheireadh de *n chraoibh, 
ghairm n« coilich a bha feadh na coilie. Thnig mac a* cluobair, 
nor a choal e na eoilich a' gairm, gon robh e air an taobh ghoirid 
de 'n latha. Nur a chnal end eatorra na coilich a' gairm thuirt am 
fear mòr, ** *S math a sheas thn, 's bha feum agad air, aimeo bhiodh do 
bhoinneid daor dait." Dhealaich am fear mòr ris^ *8 cha d* fhairich 
end sgath riabh toillldh a choir na h-aibhne. 

There is a bogle story in W. Grant Stewart's Highland 
Saperstitions (pablished 1823 and 1851), in which a man is 
dragged towards a river by a sapemataral being, whom be 
kills with his dirk. 

2. I hare another story like this, which was sent to me by a 
yonng gentleman, a member of the Ossianic Society of Glasgow. 
It has some Hkeness to No. 28, The Smith, and is a good illus- 
tration of this part of popnlar mythology. When the people of 
Eintyre, Muintib Chean tibeadh were coming home from the 
Borthem airt from fighting against Prince Charles, under their 
chieftain, the man of Skipnish ; they were going together, each 
band that was nearest as neighbours. So one little company 
staid behind the great band, in Cean loch gilp, Lochgilphead. 
The one who was hindmost of this company, who was called by 
the nickname of Iah Dubb Mob, Big Black John, heard an un- 
earthly noise, when he was come in front of a fall that was at A 
HhaoilDubh, on the northern side of Taibbaibt Ohean-tibbadh, 
Tarbert (which may be rendered Land's-end drawboat.) 

He went on, and in a bum below the fall, a terrible being met 
him ; he drew his blade. Said the being to him, " Strike me.'' 


** I will not strike, thou monster," said John ; but Brodaidh mi- 
THU, " I will prod thee." 

" Prod me" the being would saj*. '* I will not prod thee, 
monster, bat I will strike thee," John wonld say. 

They foaght thas for a great time till the cock crew ; and the 
being said to Ian, ** Thou wilt now be going, bat before thou 
gòest, take thy choice of the two following things — Ealan ouh 
BATH NO, BATH GUN EALAiN, speechless art, or artless speech." 

John chose speechless art, and so it happened. He was a 
blacksmith, as skilful as ever drew hammer on anvil ; but he was 
not much better for that ; there was no penny he earned that he 
would not spoil, and that would not go in some way that was not 
easily explained. As an instance of art, he could mend a saw, 
though thou hadst a bit in either hand, in such away that it could 
not be seen where it was broken ; and a gun in the same way. 
There would be a covering on the smithy windows when he would 
be mending such things. 

Big black John got great power over witchcraft, Buitbeachas, 
and evil eye. 

There was a man in Skipnish who had made money by smug- 
gling, but he began to lose his money, for his malt refused to 
yield its product, till at last he lost the whole of what he had 
made ; and he was a poor man. He went at last to Ionabair, 
Ayr, where John was dwelling at that time. John told him that 
it was enmity that was doing the ill. Ho did not learn who was 
spoiling him. He said to him, " Go home and thou wilt get back 
the produce of the malt ;" and so he did. Each tooail mashing 
he made, began to give more than the other, till the produce he 
got frightened him. He followed on thus till the loss was made 
up, and after that he got but the usual product. 

The following are stories of the san^e kind. The prevailing 
notions are, that supernatural beings exist which cannot with- 
stand the power of iron, and that there are men and women who 
deal with them. These are from Mr. Hector Urquhart, written 
in English, and given in his own words. 

3. One day last week, as I was walking up Glenfyne, I over- 
took an old man who was carting coals up to the Lodge. " Good 
day to you John." " Good day to yourself," says John. From 


good days to showery days, I asl^ed John if there was any virtue 
in iron against witchcraft or fairy spells. "Indeed, and that's 
what there is/' says John. So, when we came to the Lodge, I 
wrote the following story from his telling : — " On a certain year 
and me a young lad, all onr cows lost the milk, one after one ; we 
gaessed what was wrong with them, and my hig brother lost no 
time in going to Appin, to con salt the man of the bed book. He 
no sooner entered his hoase than the man told him what moved 
him from home. *It's your own neighbour's wife,' says he, 
* that spoilt your cows ; she is this moment in your house, in> 
quiring whether you went from home to-day, and where did you 
go to ; and to make it double sure to you, that it's her who spoilt 
your cows, she will meet you under the lintel of your door coming 
out as you are going in. Go you now home, and take a shoe of 
an entire horse, and nail it on your byre-door ; but let no living 
person- know of it.' 

'* My brother came home, and as the man of the red book told 
him, this identical woman met him on the threshold as he was 
going in to the house. I do not know how he managed to get 
hold of the laird's stallion, but the shoe was nailed on our byre 
door before sunrise next morning, so our cows had plenty milk 
from that day forth." 

4. " This must baa wonderfìil book, John," says I ; '* do you 
know how this man came to have it ? " *^ AVeU," says John, " I'll 
tell you that." 

" Once upon a time, there lived a man at Appin, Argyllshire, 
and he took to his house an orphan boy. When the boy was 
grown up, he was sent to herd ; and upon a day of days, and him 
herding, there came a fine gentleman where he was, who asked 
him to become his servant, and that he would give him plenty 
to eat and drink, clothes, and great wages. The boy told him 
that he would like veiy much to get a good suit of clothes, but 
that he would not engage till he would see his master ; but the 
fine gentleman would have him engaged without any delay ; this 
the boy would not do upon any terms till he would see his mas- 
ter. * Well,' says the gentleman, ^ in the meantime write your 
marne in this book.' Saying this, he puts his hand into his oxter 
{KMsket^ and pulling out a large red book, he told the boy to write 


his name in the hook. This the hoy would not do ; neither would 
he tell his name, till he would acquaint his master first. ' Now/ 
says the gentleman, ' since you will neither engage, or tell your 
name, till you see your present master, he sure to meet me ahont 
sunset to-morrow, at a certain place.' The hoy promised that he 
would he sure to meet him at the place ahont sunsetting. When 
the hoy came home he told his master what the gentleman said 
to him. ' Poor hoy,' says he, * a fine master he would make ; 
lucky for yon that yon neither engaged nor wrote your name in 
his hook ; hut since you promised to meet him, you must go ; hut 
as you value your life, do as I tell you.' His master gave him a 
Bword, and at the same time he told him to he sure and he at the 
place mentioned a while hefore sunset, and to draw a circle round 
himself with the point of the sword in the name of the Trinity. 
' When you do this, draw a cross in the centre of the circle, upon 
which you will stand yourself; and do not move out of that posi. 
tion till the rising of the sun next morning/ He also told him 
that he would wish him to come out of the circle to put his 
name in the hook ; hut that upon no account he was to leave the 
circle ; * hut ask the hook till you would write your name yourself* 
and when once you get hold ofj^the hook keep it, he cannot touch 
a hair of your head, if you keep inside the circle.* 

" So the hoy was at the place long hefore the gentleman made 
his appearance ; hut sure enough he came after sunset ; he tried 
all his arts to get the hoy outside the circle, to sign his name in 
the red hook, hut the hoy would not move one foot out of where 
he stood ; hut, at the long last, he handed the hook to the boy, so 
as to write his name therein. The book was no sooner inside the 
circle than it fell out of the gentleman*s hand inside the circle ; 
the hoy cautiously stretches out his hand for the hook, and as 
soon as he got hold of it, he put it in his oxter. When the fine 
gentleman saw that he did not mean to give him hack the hook, 
he got furious ; and at last he transformed himself into great 
many likenesses, blowing fire and brimstone out of his mouth and 
nostrils ; at times he would appear as a horse, other times a huge 
nat, and a fearfal beast (uille bheast) ; he was going round the 
circle the length of the night ; when day was beginning to break 
he let out one fearful screech ; he put himself in the likeness of a 
large raven, and he was soon out of the boy's sight. The boy 


still remaioed where he vas till he saw the smi in the morning, 
which no sooner he ohserved, than he took to his soles home an 
fast as he could. He gave the hook to his master ; and this is 
how the far-famed red hook of Appin was got.'* 

I have heard many old people say that they went from all 
parts to consult the red hook of Appin, though this is the hest 
story I heard ahout it. You ask if there were virtue in iron ; you 
must know that iron was the principal safeguard against evil 
spirits, etc., etc. ; which I shall show in my next letter on the 

5. The next is from the telling of a dancing master, a north 
country Highlander, and written hy my friend Mr. John Camphell 
of Kilherry, in Argyllshire. The supernatural heing descrihed as 
Bauchan, is prohahly Booah, a little buck, a hobgoblin, a ghost, 
a sprite, spectre (Armstrong and other Die.) ; and he seems but 
a half-tamed specimen of the same genus as the terrible being 
before described. 

CoLUimr ouN Cheaitn, The Headless Trunk ; Coluinn Gun 
Gheann was a very celebrated Bauchkan, who favoured the family 
of the Macdonals of Moran, for ages immemorial, and was fre- 
quently seen about their residence, Moran House ; which is 
situated on the main land, opposite the point of Slaate, in the 
Island of Skye. Though a protector of the family, he was parti- 
cularly hostile to the neighbourhood, and waged war, especially 
with all the strong men he could meet with ; for this purpose, he 
particularly haunted the *' Mile Beith,*' or *' Smooth Mile,*' one 
end of which was not above 200 yards from the Mansion (I know 
the place weD) ; the other end of the Mile terminated at a large 
stream, called the Biver Moran, femed in history for salmon fish- 
ing ; after sunset, people did wisely to avoid that part, for then 
the '* CoLUinv Guh Cheann*' was sure to keep his vigils ; and 
any stray man who passed was sure to become a victim, the 
bodies being always found dead, and in the majority of instances 
mutilated also. As he took care never to appear, except to a soli- 
tary passenger, it was in vain to send a party against him. He 
was seldom, if ever, seen by women, and did no harm either to 
them or to children. Once, it happened that a distant relative, 
bat intimate fnend of Maasay'Sj dared his fate, and remained a 


victim on the ground. This came to the ears of ** Ian oarbh, 
MacGillie Challux, Baasat," '' Big John, the son of M'Leod 
of Raasay ;" he was celebrated for his prowess and strength, and 
never had been vanquished in any fight, though he had tried with 
the strongest. He told his step-mother of the news he had heard 
fiom the Mainland, and asked her advice, as he usually did, be- 
fore he undertook any exploit of the kind. She advised him to go, 
and avenge the blood of his friend. After his preparations were 
made, and not without a blessing from the Oracle, he set out 
on his circuitous journey, and met the " Goluinn" after sunset, 
on the Mile Beith, and a battle did ensue, and I daresay it was 
a very stiff one. Before sunrise, it was necessary for the Coluinn 
to be off, as he never could be seen in daylight. Whether find- 
ing he made no progress discouraged him or not, we can*t say, 
but Ian got the victory. Being determined to get a sight of the 
Coluinn, and also to prove his victory to others, Ian tucked 
him under his arm, to carry him to the nearest light. The 
Coluinn had never been heard to speak ; but being in this pre- 
dicament, called out, " Leig as mi,'' " Let me go.'' " Cha usia 
►n AS THU," ** I will not let thee go.'* Leig as mi, he repeated; 
but still the answer was Cha leig mi as thu. ** Leig as mi, agus 
chan feachear an so mi gu brath tuileadh." '' Let me go, and I 
shall never be seen here any more." " Ma bhoidachais thu air a 
leobhar, air a chonail, agus air a stocaidh dhubh, bi falbh." " If 
thou swear that on the book, on the candle, and on the black 
stocking, begone ! " After making the Coluinn promise this on 
his knees, Ian liberated him. The Coluinn flew off, singing the 
following doleful words — " 8 fada nam fein bonn beinn Hederin, s 
fada nam fein bealach a bhorbhan," which we can only translate 

" Far from me is the hill of Ben Hederin, 
Far from me is the pass of murmuring.'* 

This lament was repeated as long as Ian could hear, and 
these words are still sung by women in that country to their 
children, to the following notes, which tradition says was the 
very air : — 





|lg Er^w % a #t^ a 


In the next, from the same sonrce, the same being appears 
foDj tamed ; still sapematural, still possessed of extraordinary 
strength, but attached to a family, and a regular brownie. 

6. Id the neighbourhood of Loch Traig, in Lochaber, Galium 
Mohr Macintosh held a little farm. There were rumours of 
his haying intercourse with a mysterious personage called a 
haochan, but of his first acquaintance with him there are no 
authentic accounts. One thing, however, is certain, that on some 
occasions he was supematurally aided by this bauchan, while at 
oUiers, having in some way excited his displeasure, Galium was 
opposed in all his schemes, And on several occasions they came 
the length of fighting hand to hand, Galium never suffering much 
injary. On one occasion, as Galium was returning from Fort- 
William market, he met his friend the bauchan within a short 
distance of his own house, and one of these contests took place, 
during which Galium lost his pocket-handkerchief, which, having 
been blessed and presented to him by the priest, was possessed 
of a peculiar charm. The fight being ended, Galium hurried home ; 
bnt, to his dismay, found that he had lost his charmed hand- 
kerchief, for which he and his wife in vain sought. Galium felt 
certain he had to thank the bauchan for this mishap, and hurried 


back to the scene of action. The first object that met his view 
was the bauchan, busily engaged in rubbing a flat stone with the 
identical handkerchief. On seeing Galium, he called out, '* Ah I 
you are back ; it is well for you, for if I had rubbed a hole into 
this before your return you were a dead man. No doctor on 
earth or power could save you; but you shall never have this 
handkerchief till you have won it in a fair fight.'* *^ Done," 
said Galium, and at it they went again, and Galium recovered 
his handkerchief. Peats were almost unknown at that time, 
and Galium, when the weather grew cold, took his axe, and 
felled a large birch tree in the neighbouring forest, the branches 
supplied wood for the fire for several days, and Galium did not 
trouble himself to lay in a store nearer hand — when, lo ! a snow 
storm came on, and blocked up the country, so that he was cut 
off from his supply. There was no means of access to the tree ; 
and careful as Gallum's wife was, the last branch was almost 
consumed, and the fire burnt low. Up started Galium with an 
exclamation, *' Oh I wife, would that we had the tree I felled 
in the forest I it would keep us warm this night." Hardly had he 
spoken when the house was shaken and the door rattled ; a heavy 
weight had fallen nearthe door. Galium rushed to see whatthecause 
was, and there was the wished-for tree, with the Bauchan grin- 
ning at him — " Sma am Bauchan fathast, ged a sgain an Sag^*' 
— (the Bauchan is still kind, though the Priest should burst) — 
said the wife. On another occasion it happened that Galium left 
the farm he was in and went to one adjoining which he had taken 
carrying with him his wife and all his furniture. In the night- 
time Galium turned to his wife and said, ** Well, it is well we 
have all with us ; only one thing have we forgotten, the hogshead 
in which the hides are being barked ; that we have forgotten.'* 
" No matter for that,'* said the wife ; " there is no one to occupy 
the place yet a while, and we have time to get it home safe 
enough ; " and so the matter rested ; but on going round the 
end of the house next morning, what did Galium see but 
his own identical hogshead, hides and all. It had been 
transported the distance of five miles of most rugged, rocky 
district. None but a goat could have crossed the place, and 
in the time it would have bothered one to do it, but the 
Baaohan managed it, and saved Galium a most troublesome 


joaraey. If yon will go and tak^ a look at it — the spot is there 
jet — ^and I wonld like to see how soon yoa would manage it, let 
alone the hogshead. 

Poor Callam, however, was obliged, with many of his neigh- 
bonrs, to leave Lochaber; indeed, he was amongst the first 
embarking at Arisjug for New York. The passage was a tedious 
one, but it ended at lasfc, and without any particular adventures ; 
but on arriving they had to perform a quarantine of many days. 
On getting pratique, Galium was in the first boat which landed, 
and happened to have stowed himself in the bows of the boat, 
and when she grounded, was the first man to jump on shore. 
Directly his feet touched the ground, who should meet him in the 
shape of a goat but the Bauchan, ** Ha, ha Galluni, ha mi sho air 
Thoseach orst." Ha, Malcolm, I. am here before thee. Here 
ends our story ; but rumour says that Galium was the better of 
the Bauchan*s help in clearing the lands of his new settlement, 
and that, till he was fairly in the way of prosperity, the Bauchan 
abstained from teasing and provoking poor Galium. 

The next makes the supernatural beings robbers, and is a 
further argument in favour of the theory that all these traditions 
are fictions founded on fact ; recollections of wild savages living 
in mountain fastnesses, whose power, and strength, and cavern 
dwellings were enlarged and distorted into magic arts, gigantic 
stature, and the under-ground world. I translate the story from 
Gaelic, written by Hector MacLean from the telling of JoHAimA 
MAcGBUoioif in Bemeray, August 1859. This woman is a 
native of Skye, and descended from the celebrated pipers. Her 
&ther, grandfather, and uncles were pipers. She learnt the story 
from her grand-uncle Angus MacGrimmon. 

7. A gentleman had aibeach, a herd's dwelling, and he was 
out in a far-ofif glen lung in the year with his herd women and his 
calf herd. They had every man they needed, and they were 
there till the middle of summer was. Then the herd woman said 
that she must go to seek things that she wanted. 

The herd woman went away, and she bad a great distance to 
go before she should reach the farm. 

She said to the herd, in spite of the length of the path, that 
she would try to be back that night. When the evening was 


coming, the herd was wearying that the herd woman was not 
coming. Then he put the cattle to rights agus bkligh e bud, 
and he milked them, and there were wild showers of snow in the 
beginning of the night. He went home when the beginning of 
night was, and he set in order his own food, after he had taken a 
thought — ^DuiL A THOiBT DETH — that the herd woman would not 
come. He took his food, and he shut the door as well as be 
could, thinking that no man would come near him that night. He 
put NA BEAiKTEAN FRAOiCHE the bundles of heather behind the 
.CÒMHLA door,* and then he sat to toast himself at the fire because 
the SIDE weather was so cold. He was taking his dinner there, 
when he heard a great tartar noise coming towards the door. 
Then he got up from the door with great fear, and he noticed a 
being striking the door again. He was thinking, and he did not 
know what to do, that if the door were struck a third time it 
.would be in. 


He got up, and the door was struck a third time. Then he 
crouched in a comer at the lower end of the shealing when he 
saw the door being driven in. 

He did not know now whether he should stay as he was or 
hide himself. When he noticed the door being pushed in, there 
came in a beast, and she went up to the fire. 

The heather took fire and he saw this nasty beast standing at 
the fire. And she had a great long hair, and that creature was — 
A CNAMH A oiB — chewiug the cud, as though there were a sheep 
or a cow. The horns that were on her were up to the top of the 
shealing. The poor man that was within thoaght that it was 
time for him to take bis legs along with him, and he went out 
through the night and the winnowing and snow in it. 

He found one of the horses, and he reached his master's 
house before the day came. Here there he struck in the door of 
his master furiously, and his master awoke and he went where he 
was, and he told his master the uamhas — terrible wonder that 
had come upon him since the herd woman left him. 

* It is quite common in Highland cottages to keep a large 
bundle of heather or brushwood to stuff into the doorway on the 
windward side ; sometimes it is the sole door. 


The master went, and the eldest son he had and himself, and 
thej took a gun with them. They went as fast as they could to 
try to catch the beast and kill her. There was the worth of 
much money in the ehealing, and they thought it a loss that they 
should want it. Then when they were coming near the shealing 
the gentleman pnt a charge in the gun, to be all ready. (Deibeal 
— ^This word is said to be derived from South — about the old prac- 
tice being to make a turn sun-wise before doing anything of im- 

They reached the shealing, and they let off a shot in. Though 
he let off the shot he did not notice a thing, and fear would not 
let one of them search within. They were thus at the door and 
they perceived the beast showing herself out. It was hardly that 
she dragged herself out of the door of the shealing. 

There ont went they — the gentleman and his son ! They 
went in such a great perturbation, that they did not remember 
the horses ; but they stretched out on foot, fleeing before the 
beast that was there. What but that the beast followed after 
them till they reached the house, and they thought she would 
have finished tbem before they should arrive. When they reached 
the fium, one of the gentleman's men met him, and the gentleman 
told him that he was almost dead at all events^ that he had hopes 
of reaching the house, and that he should go to try to meet the 
beast, and keep her back a space. 

The man went to meet the beast that was here, and she full 
of the snow; and he looked keenly at her. He returned to his 
master to tell him what sort of beast it was, and he said, " Con)e 
oat here that you may come and see the beast." 

When they went out to see the beast, what was here but the 
hack goat, full of the snow, and the master was shamed that he 
should have fled from the like of that beast. 

The herd fled by the way of the banks of the shore ; when he 
saw his master running away, and they had no tale of him. 
Three of the servants were sent about the glen to try if they 
eoold find him ; and they were not finding him at all. 

He was lost thus for three days and three nights, and they 
had no hope that they would find him for ever. On the third day 
he was going at the side of the shore, and water-horses and 
wild beasts coming on land on the shores. What should he 


fall in with bat a dwelling-place there. He went in. There 
was no man there bat a little russet man. The little russet 
man put welcome on him, and he asked him to come forward — 
that he was welcome. He asked of the little russet man what 
was the meaning of his staying in such a place, that there was 
no man with him. 

" Oh,'* said the little russet man, " it is ndt allowed me to 
tell aoything." 

" I will tell thee," said the herd, " what sent me in here. It 
is that I fled from uamhas — a terrible wonder." 

" This is the thing thou shalt do," said the little russet man. 
" Thou shalt stretch thyself on this bed up here, and thing or 
thÌDg that thou seest in thy sleep, remember on thy death that 
thou dost not tell it." 

Then when he went to stretch himself in the bed, what should 
meet him in the bed but the body of a man ; and he took to 
trembling with fear, but he did not move. He thought he 
would stay as he was ; that the dead man was not to touch him 
at all events. Then he heard great speaking coming towards the 
house ; he was not long so till he noticed a great clatter coming, 
and what was this but — seisejlb fbab (collective singular noun of 
number, six man) — six men coming in and a cow with them. The 
master that was over the six, said to the little russet man, 
"Didst thou see or perceive a man coming this way since 
early earliness.'^ 

*' I did not see," said he, " he might come the way un- 
known to me." 

" Shut the door," said the big man, " and all without be 
they without, and all within within." 

Then they put the cow on the fire in a great caldron after 
they had torn it asunder in quarters. When they had put this 
on the fire it was not long till he noticed the next clatter, and 
what was here but another band coming. 

What should this band have but another cow flayed, and 
they had a pit within, and there they salted her. When the 
flesh that was in the kettle was cooked, they took their supper 
all together. 

The poor man that was here in the bed did not know on 
earth what he should do for fear. I Here when it was coming 


near on the mouth of the day, the little russet man went out 
to look what likeness was on the night. 

When he came in, said they to him, " What seeming is on the 
night?" "There is a middling seeming," said he; but it is I 
who saw the terrible man Dunns fuathasach since I went out, as 
though he were listening to you. I think that it is fuamhaib 
CHBEio DALLAiG the giant of crag dallag, who is there. 

There out went eyery man of them, and the one that would 
not wait on his bow he would seize on his sword to kill him. 

When the little russet man, who waB within, thought that 
they had hurried well from the hoase, he said to the one who was 
in the bed, " Thou one that art up come down as fast as thou 
didst ever." Then he stretched to the poor man who was in the 
bed, as fast as ever he did, a stocking full of dollars j and he gave 
him bread and cheese. " If thou ever didst it, do it now," said 
the Uttle russet man to the herdsman. The herdsman went, and 
be reached the house of his master whole and healthy. 

The moral of this tale seems to be, that he who runs away 
from fancied danger may fall into real peril ; but what bears upon 
the theory of the origin of such stories is, that the reed peril is 
from " water-horses " and " robbers," who have a little red ruaoh 
man who plays the part of the enchanted princess, and the friendly 
cat, and the woman who is the slave of the giants, and the robbers ; 
the character which appears in all collections of popular tales to 
befriend the benighted stranger, or the wandering prince. And 
what is more, the fancied danger was from a creature under the 
form of a goat. Why a man should be frightened by a goat, ap- 
pears from the last of following two stories, translated from the 
GraeHc of Hector Urquhart, and written from the telling of John 
Campbell in Strath-Gairloch, Boss-shire. He is now (1859) 

8. At some time of the world the lord of Gearloch tighearna 
OHEABLOGH had a CEATHEABNACH, who used to be slaying fuathan, 
bogles, and routing out the spoilers. The name of this stalwart 
man was uistean mob mac ghille phadbig. IJistean was on a 
day hunting, and he saw a great wreath of mist above him, and 
heard the sweetest music he ever heard, but he was not seeing a 
thing but the mist itself. He cast a shot that was in his gun at 




the wreath of mist, and the very finest woman he ever saw fell 
down at his side. He took her with him to his own hoase, bat 
there was not a word of speech in her ; and she was thus for a 
year with him, and she never saw a thing that she could not do. 
And Uistean was thus in the mountain as nsnal slaying the 
-bogles, FUATHAN, and on a day at the end of the year, and he in 
the mountain, the night come on him as he was coming home. 
There he saw alight in a hill ; he reached where the light was, and 
he stood in the door, and na siTmcHEAir, the fairies, were within 
making music and dancing, and the butler that they had going 
round about amongst them and giving them the drink. Uistean 
was looking at this : and the butler said, " It is a year from this 
night's night that we lost the daughter of larla Anndmm, the 
Earl of Antrim. She has the power of the draught on her that 
she does not speak a word, till she gets a drink from the cup that 
is in my hand. And the butler was going round about till be 
reached where Uistean was, and he gave the cokn cup to Uistean. 
No sooner got Uistean a hold of the cup in his hand than he took 
his soles out (of that), and they after him. They were here coming 
close to (shearing on) Uistean, and when they were come within 
sight of the town the cock crowed. One said, " It is as well for 
as to return ; " but another said, *' It is but BOaAO foohair, a 
spring soft one.'' At the end of a while another cock crowed. 
*' But it is time to return now ; this is the black cock of March " 
— and they returned ; but Uistean did not let go the cup till 
they reached his own house, and till he had given a draught 
to her from the cup, and as soon as she had drunk a draught 
from the cup, she had speech as well as another. And Uistean 
went on the spot, back with the cup, and he left it on the hill ; 
and when Uistean came back to his own house she told him that 
she was the daughter of the Earl of Antrim, and that the fairies 
had taken her from childbed. Uistean gave her two choices, 
whether would she rather stay by him, or be sent back to Eirinn ; 
aud she had rather go home. They went, and when they reached 
the house of the Earl of Antrim, she stayed in a little house that 
Was near upon the castle for that night, and when they began to 
give them news, the housewife told them that the daughter of 
the Earl of Antrim was exceedingly ill, and that there was no 
leech in Eirinn that could do her good. Uistean said that he 


was the great doctor of the King of the Gaeldoxn, and that he 
would heal her, and that he would not ask payment till she should 
be healed. 

The Earl was right well pleased his like to be come about, and 
it was told to the one who was on the bed, that a great Scottish 
doctor was come to her town that could cure her. But this did 
not please her at aU, and she would not let him come near her. 
But Uistean said that he would go there though it was ill with 
her ; and he went where she was, with his naked sword in his 
hand. 8he who was in the bed cast an eye on him, and she said, 
" IT I had been to pat my thumb on the apple of thy throat on 
the night that thou wert bom, thou couldest not do this to me 
this day." 

And when Uistean went to the bed, she went as a flame of 
fire out at the end of the house. 

Then Uistean gave his own daughter by the hand to the Earl 
of Antrim, whole and healthy. The Earl of Antrim gave Uistean 
his two choices, that he should stay with him, or a bag of gold 
and go home. Uistean took the bag of gold, and he came home ; 
and he began at killing Fuathan, as he was before. 

This story joins Fairies and Fuathan, and has many relations 
in other languages, and the next joins the whole to the French 
Loup Crarou, of which I heard from a peasant in France in 
November 1859, but the wolf is a goat in the Highlands. 

9. Some time after this, word went to Uistean that there was 
a Fuath on Tombuidhe Gheabblogh on the yellow knoll of 
(jairloch, and this Fuath was killing much people, and sending 
others out of the husk (or the gates) of their hearts, ▲ choohail 
AM CBIDHE, because no man could take the path after the night 
or darkness should come. ^ 

Uistean came, and on the way at the foot of the knoll Uistean 
went into the house of a yellow-footed weaver that was living 
there. Said the weaver to Uistean, " Thou hadst best stop the 

" Well, I will do that," said Uistean ; " I am going to kill the 
Fuath of Tombuidh to-night." 

" Perhaps that is not so easy," said the weaver ; " with what 
wilt thou kill Gaohair Mhoil-Bhui, the goat of Maol-buidh?" 


" With the gun," said Uistean. 

" What," said the weaver, " if the gun will not suit?'" 

" If it will not suit," said he, " I will try the sword on her. " 

" What," said the weaver, " if the sword will not come out of 
the sheath?" 

*• Well," said Uistean, " I will try my mother's sister on her." 

And on every arm that Uistean named, the weaver laid bosad, 
a spell, but on the dirk which he called his mother's sister the 
weaver could not lay a spell. Then Uistean went up to the. top 
of the knoll, and on the top of the knoll was a pit in which the 
goat used to dwell. 

She let out a meioaid bleat, and Uistean said, *' Dost thoa 
want thy kid thou skulker ?" 

" If I do, I have got it now," said she. Then Uistean laid 
hands on his gun, but she would not give a spark. Then he laid 
hands on his sword, but it would not come out of the sheath. 
" Where now is thy mother's sister?" said the goat. 

When Uistean heard this he sprang on the goat, and the first 
thrust he gave her with the biodag dirk, she let out a roar. 

" It seems odd to me, poor beast, if I do not give thy kid milk 

And he did not see the goat any more. Uistean turned back 
to the weaver's house, and when he kindled a light, he found the 
weaver under the loom pouring blood. 

" If it was thou who madest so much loss on the yellow knoll, 
thou shalt not get off any farther," said Uistean. 

Then he killed the weaver under the loom, and no man was 
slain on the yellow knoll since then, by goat or bogle. 

These two stories are certain enough. It was by my mother 
I heard them, and many a tale there is of Uistean, if I had mind 
of them. 

John Campbell, Strath Gairloch, Ross-shire. 

10. I have another version of this same tale written by a 
school-master, at the request of Mr. Osgood Mackenzie. It is in 
very good Gaelic, but to translate it would be repetition, for it is 
almost the identical. I do not mention the name of the writer, 
for it might be displeasing to him. The narrator is Alexander 
Macdonald, Inverasdale. The goat is called Gabhab hhob rhi 
BEAOACH FHEUBAGACH, a great hairy-bearded goat ; and the dirk is 


called Catbiona puithjlr mo bheaha mhathaib, Catherine, my 
grandmother's sister. He finds the Beeabadaib weaver in bed, 
with a woand in his thigh, and gives him his death thrust there. 
I have given these specimens of a particular class of tales 
which are common enough, as they came to me, because they seem 
to be fair illustrations of the popular creed as to spirits ; and to 
show that the so-called spirits are generally very near mortal 
men. My belief is, that bocan, bodach, fuath, and all their tribe, 
were once savages, dressed in skins, and that gruagach was a 
half-tamed savage hanging about the houses, with his long hair 
and skin clothing ; that these have gradually acquired the attri- 
butes of divinities, river gods, or forest nymphs, or that they have 
been condemned as pagan superstitions, and degraded into 
demons ; and I know that they are now remembered, and still 
somewhat dreaded, in their last character. The tales told of 
them partake of the natural and supernatural, and bring fiction 
nearer to fact than any class of tales current in the Highlands, 
unless it be the fairy stories of which a few are ^ven under 
number 28, etc. 



From Barra. 

OISEAN was an old man after the (time of the) 
Feen, and he (was) dwelling in the house of his 
daughter. He was blind, dea^ and limping, and there 
were nine oaken skewers in his belly, and he ate the 
tribute that Padraig had over Eirinn, They were then 
writing the old histories that he was telling them. 

They killed a right big stag ; they stripped the 
shank, and brought him the bone. '' Didst thou ever 
see a shank that was thicker than that in the Feen ?" 
" I saw a bone of the black bird's chick in which it 
would go round about" — " In that there are but Uea" 
When he heard this, he caught hold of the books with 
rage, and he set them in the fire. His daughter took 
them out and quenched them, and she kept them. 
Ossian asked, with wailing, that the worst lad and 
dog in the Feen should lay weight on his chest 
He felt a weight on bis chest " What's this Ì "— " I 
MacKuaghadh" (son of the red, or auburn one). 
" What is that weight which I feel at my feet Ì ** — 
" There is MacBuidheig^' (the son of the Httle yellow). 
They stayed as they were till the day came. They 
arose. He asked the lad to take him to such a glen. 
The lad reached the glen with him. He took out a 
whistle from his pocket, and he played it. "Seest 


thou anything going past on yonder mountain Ì " — " I 
see deer on it'* — " Wliat sort dost thou see on it Ì " 
— " I see some slender and grey on it." — " Those are 
the seed of the Lon Luath, swift elk ; let them 
pass." — " What kind seest thou now ?" — " I see some 
gaunt and grizzled." — " Those are the seed of Dearg 
dasdanach, the red Fierce : let them pass." — "What kind 
seest thou now?" — "I see some heavy and sleek." 
—"Let the dog at them." "Vic Vuiaig!" Mac- 
Bhuieig went " Is he dra^ng down plenty ? " — *' He 
is." — " Now, when thou seest that he has a dozen thou 
shalt check him*" When he thought he had them, he 
played the whistle, and he checked the dog. ^^ Now, 
if fJie pup is sated with chase, he will come quietly, 
gently ; if not, he wiU come with his gape open." 
He was coming with his gape open, and his tongue out 
of his mouth. " Bad is the thing which thou hast 
done to check the pup unsated with chase." — " When he 
comes, catch my hand, and try to put it in his gape, 
or he will have us." He put the hand of Oisean in 
bis gape, and he shook his throat out. " Come, gather 
the stags to that knoll of rushes." He went, and that 
is done ; and it was nine stags that were there, and 
that was but enough for Oisean alone ; the lad's share 
was lost "Put my two hands about the rushy 
knoll that is here;" he did that, and the great cal- 
dron that the Feen used to have was in it " Now, 
make ready, and put the stags in the caldron, and set 
&re under it." The lad did that When they were 
here ready to take it, Oisean said to him, " Touch thou 
them not tiU I take my fill first" Oisean began upon 
them, and as he ate each one, he took one of the 
skewers out of his belly. When Oisean had six eaten, 
the lad had three taken from him. " Hast thou done 
this to me ? " said Oisean. " I did it," said he ; "I 


would need a few when thou thyself hadst so many of 
them." — '* Try if thou wilt take me to such a rock." 
He went down there, and he brought out the chick of 
a blackbird out of the rock. " Let ,us come to be 
going home." The lad caught him under the arm, 
and they went away. When he thought that they 
were nearing the house, he said, " Are we very near 
the house Ì " " We are," said the lad. " Would the 
shout of a man reach the house where we are just 
now Ì " * — " It would reach it" — " Set my front straight 
on the house." The lad did thus. When he was 
coming on the house, he caught the lad, and he put 
his baud in his throat, and he killed him. *' Now," 
said he, " neither thou nor another will tell tales of 
me." He went home with his hands on the wall, and 
he left the blackbird's chick within. They were ask- 
ing him where he had been since the day came ; he 
said he had been where he had often passed pleasant 
happy days. " How didst thou go there when thou 
art bUndl" — "I got a chance to go there this day at 
aU events. There is a Httle pet yonder that I brought 
home, and bring it in." They went out to look, and if 
they went, there did not go out so many as could bring 
it home. He himself arose, and he brought it in. 
He asked for a knife. He caught the shank, he 
stripped it, and then took the flesh off it. He broke 
the two ends of the bone. " Get now the shank of 
the dun deer that you said I never saw the like of in 
the Feen." They got this for him, and he threw it 
out through the marrow hole. Now he was nfiade 
truthfuL They began to ask more tales from him, but 
it beat them ever to make him begin at them any 

* A Lapp measure of distance is " a dog's bark." 



Bha Oisean 'na shean dnin* an d^gh na Finne 's e faireachd an tigh 
a nigfainne. Bha e danll, bodhar, bacach, 's bha naoidh deilg daraich 
'na bhroinn, 's e *g itheadh na càìn a bh' aig Pàdraig air Eirinn. Bha 
end an sin a' sgriobhadh na seann eachdraidh a bha e 'g innseadh 
dhaibh. Mharbh end damh ro mhbr ; riiisg end an calpa, *8 thug end 
a Honnsnidh an cnàimh. *' A nis am faca ta calpa riabh a ba ghairbhe 
na sin 'san Fhinn." ** Chnnna mi cnàimh isein an Ion daigh, 's rachadh 
e ma 'n cnairt an taobh a stigh dheth." ** Cha n 'eil an sin ach na 
briagan." Nur a chual e so rug e air na leabhraichean le corraich, 
agas choir e 'san tein* end. Thug a nighean as an tein' eud, *s chnir 
i as end, 's ghl^dh i end. 

Dh' iarr Oisean de dh' achanaich an gill* agus an ch bu mhiosa 
bha 'san Fhkin a chur cudthrom air uchd. Dh' fhairich e cudthrom 
air uchd. ** D^ so?" <<Mise Macna Ruaghadh." ** De *n cudthrom ud 
a thamifiaotainn aig mo chasan ?" <« Tha MacBuidheig." Dh' fhan eud 
mur a bha eud gos an d' thkinig an latha. Nur a thàinig an 
latha dh* ^iridh eud. Dh' iarr e air a ghiUe 'thoirt go leithid 
80 de ghleann. Ràinig an gille an gleann leis. Thug e mach 
fideag a a phbca 's sheinn e i. ^'Am faic thu dad sam bith 
a dol seachad air an aonadh ud shuas?" ** Chi mi f^idh ann." D^ 
*n seorsa a chi thu ann?" *<Chi mi feadhain chaola ghlas ann." 
" Sin agad siol na Luine luaithe lig seachad eud." *' D4 'n seorsa chi 
thu 'n dràsd ?" "Ch mi feadhain sheanga riabhach." ^ Sinn agad eàol 
na Deirge dàsanaich lig seachad eud." ** D4 'n fheadhain a chi thu 'n 
dràsd?" *' Chi mi feadhain throma loma." *' Lig an ch thuca." *'Mhic 
Bhnidheig!" Dh'fhalbh Mac Bhoidheig. **A bheil e leagaU na 
leoir ? " " Tha." ** Nur a chi thu nis aon dusan aige caisgidh thu e.' 
Nor a shaoil e gun robh eud aige sheinn e 'n fhideag 's chaisg e 'n cù. 
" Nis ma tha 'n cuilean buidheach seilge thig e gu modhail, socair ; mur 
'eQ thig e 's a chraos fosgailt." Bha e tighinn 'sa chraos fosgailte *sa 
theanga mach air a bhial. " 'S dona 'n rud a rinn thu an cuilean a 
chaag 's gun e buidheach seilg. Nur a thig e beir air mo làinahsa 's 
fiacfa an cuir thu stigh na chraos i, no bidh sinn aige." Chuir e 
stigh, làmh Oisein 'na chraos 's chrath e 'n sgòman as. ** Thalia 
cndnnidi na daimh 'ionnsuidh an tom luachrach." Dh' fhalbh e 's 
siud, agus 'se naoidh daimh a bh' ann, agus cha b' uilear do dh' 
siud 'na onrachd, 's bha cuid a' ghill air chauU. ** Cuir mo dha 
lajmhua ma 'n tom luachrach a tha 'n so." Rinn e siud 's bha 'n coire 
m2>r a V àbhabt a bhi aig an Fhinn ann, ** Dian anis deas 's cuir na 


daimh anna a* choire 'a coir gealbhan foidhe.*^ Rinn an gille siod. 
Nor a bha ead an so deas ainon an gabhail, nra' Oiaean ria. ** Na 
bean thoaa dhaibh gos an gabh miae mo dhUd an toiaeach." Thòiaich 
Oiaean orra, 'aa h-nile fear a dh' itheadh e bheireadh e fear de na 
deilg aa a bhroinn. Nor a bha aia aig Oiaean air an itheadh bha tri 
aig a ghill' air an toirt naidhe. <* An d* rinn thu ao orm? " urs* 
Oiaean. " Rinn,* ma* eaan, * dh* fhenmaSnnaa beagan, nur a bhu mbran 
agad fhin din." ** Fiach an d' thoir thn mia' ionnauidh a leithid ao do 
chreag.*' Rinn e aind. Chaidh e aioa an dn 'a thng e mach iaean 
Ion daigh aa a* chreig. ^ Thngainn a bhi falbh dachaidh.** Rag an 
giir air aehlaia air 'a dh* fbalbh end. Nnr a bha e amaointeachadh 
gon robh end a' teannadh air an tigh thnirt e. '* A bheil ainn a' teann- 
adh goirid o'n tigh.** ** Tha," ura* an gille, " An migeadh eubh dnin' air 
an tigh far a bheU ain an dràad." <* Rnigeadh." " Coir m* aghaidhaa 
direach air an tigh." Rinn an gille aind. Nnr a bha e tigh 'n 
air an tigh rag e air a' ghille 'a chair e làmh *na agbman 'a mharbh e 
e. ** So," ura' eaan, **cha, bhi thoaa na fear eile 'g innaeadh eachd- 
raidh a*m' dh^ighaa." Chaidh e dachaidh *8 a Ikmhan 'a a* bhalla 'a 
dh* fhàg e iaean an Ion doigh a atigh. Bha end a' feònddh deth 
càit' an robh e o thàinig an latha. Thairte gon robh e £uram minig 
an do choir e làithean aòlaaach, toilichte aeachad. '* Demnr a chaidh 
thoa* an ain *8 thu dauU?" " Fhnair mi cothrom air a dhol ann an diogh 
CO dhio. Tha psata beag an aiod a thog mi dachaidh 's thngaibh 
a ateach e." Dh* fhalbh end a mach a choimhead, 'a ma dh' fbalbh, cfaa 
deach a mach na bheireadh dachaidh e. Dh' eiridh e flan a mach *8 
thog e ateach e. Dh' iarr e core. Rog e air a chalpa, 'a riiiag e e, 
'a thog e *n fheòil deth. Bhria e da cheann a* chnàimh. ** Faighibh a 
nia calp' an daimh odhair a bha aibh ag radh nach fhaca miae riabh a 
leithid 'a an Fhinn.** Fhnair end ao dha *a thilg e mach romh thoU an 
amior aig e. Bha e 'n ao air a dhianadh firinneach. Thòiaich endair 
iarraidh toUlidh eachdraidh air, ach dh' fhairtlich orra riabh toirt air 
tòiaeachadh orra tuillidh. 

2. A yeraion of this was told to me by an old tinker at In^er- 
ary, bat, according to him, the books were destroyed. I took 
it to be the popular account of the Ossian controversy. Ossian, 
MacPherson, Dr. Smith, and their party, fused into " Ossian," Dr. 
Johnson, and his followers, condensed into "Padraig." The fa- 
mous Red Book of Glanrannald has also become mythical. Its 
true history will be found in the book by the Highland Society. I 
was told in Besbecula how a man had fonnd a book, containing 


tbe history of the Feen, in a moss ; and how be had parted with 
it to a blind beggar, who had sold part to a clergyman, the rest 
was in America. " The book was not dng up ; it was en the 
moss. It seemed as if the ancestors had sent it." 

3. This story of the Blackbird's Bone is common. I heard it 
myself from several men in South Uist, with variations. Accord- 
ing to one, the deer's bone was to tnm round on end in the 
blackbird's shank. Another version has been sent to me from 
Satherland. According to J. H. Simpson, a similar tale is now 
told by the peasantry of Mayo. (Poems of Ossin, Bard of Erin, 
from the Irish, 1857, page 191.) Mr. MacLbas very ingeniously 
suggests that the word which now means Blackbird (Londubh) 
may originally have meant Black-ELK. Armstrong's Dictionary 
gives LÒH, a meadow ; Lòn, a diet, a dinner, a store, provision, 
food ; Loir, an ousel, a blackbird, an Elk ; Lon, greed, prattle, 
hunger; also, a rope of raw hides used by the people of St. Kilda. 
The word, then, may mean almost anything that can be eaten by 
man or beast in general ; and an elk in particular. 

There are plenty of elks still living in Scandinavia. Their 
gigantic fossil bones are found in Irish bogs, and in the Isle of 
Man ; a whole skeleton is to be seen in the British Museum ; and 
it is supposed that men and elks existed together in Ireland. 
(See Wilson's Pre-historic Annals of Scotland, page 22 : 1851.) 
Tlie story probably rests on a foundation of fact — ^namely, the 
discovery of fossil bones — ^mized up with the floating traditions 
about the Feen which pervade both Ireland and Scotland, and 
which have been woven into poems for centuries in both countries. 
These may date from the days when men hunted elks in Erin, as 
they now do in Scandinavia. "Padndg'' probably slipped in 
when that curious dialogue was composed, of which several ver- 
sioiis are still extant in old manuscripts. 

4. The Sutherland version is as follows : — 

The last of the g^nts lived among the Feam Hills (Boss- 
shiTB, and within sight of the windows of Skibo) ; he had an only 
daughter, married not to a giant, but to a common man. 

His son-in-law did not always treat him well, for he was some- 
timee very hungry, and had to wear a hunger-belt. 


One day at dinner his sister-in-law said to him, " Did you ever, 
amongst the giants, eat snch good beef, or from so large an ox ? '* 

*' Amongst as," said the last of the giants, " the legs of the 
birds were heavier than the hind quarters of your ox." 

They laughed him to scorn, and said, that it was because be 
was blind that he made such mistakes ; so he called to a servant 
atid bid him bring his bow and three arrows, and lead him by 
the hand to a corrie which he named in the Balnagowan forest. 

" Now," said he, " do you see such and such a rock ? " 

" Yes," said the servant. 

" And is there a step in the face of it ? " 

" Yes," said the servant. 

" Are there rushes at the foot of it ? " 

"Yes," said the servant. 

" Then, take me to the steps, and put me on the first of them." 

The servant did so. 

" Look now, and tell me what comes." 

** I see birds," said the fellow. 

" Are they bigger than common ? " 

'' No bigger than in Feam,'' said the servant. « 

A little after, " What do you see ? " 

** Birds still," said the servant. 

** And are they no bigger than usual ? " 

" They are three times bigger than eagles." 

A little later, " Do you see any more birds ?" said the giant. 

" Yes, birds that the air is black with them, and the biggest 
is three times as big as an ox." 

*^ Then guide my hand to the bow," said the blind ^ant ; and 
the boy guided him so well that the biggest bird fell at the foot of 
the rock amongst the rushes. 

" Take home a hind quarter," said the giant, and they carried 
it home between them. 

When they came to the house of his son-in-law, he walked in 
with it, and aimed a tremendous blow at the place where his 'son- 
in-law usually sat. Being blind he did not see that the chair was 
empty ; it was broken to pieces ; but the son-in-law lived to 
repent, and treat the blind giant better. 

I have another version written in English by Mr. Hugh MacColl, 
gardener at Ardkinglass, from which it appears that the blind old 


giant was Ossian, and that his father-in-law was Paal na nosi 
clerach, Panl of the "nine clerks (whom I strongly saspect to he 
St. Patrick). They questioned him about deer ; and this shows 
how stories alter, for Damh means ox and stag^ and in Suther- 
land it has become ox. 

5. They would not belieTe that Ossian's black birds were so 
large. He got a boy and went to a hill, and pulled a tuft of rushes ; 
and here again is another change in the translation from Gaelic 
to English ; for tom means a JcnoU and a hush. Under the tuft 
they find a yellow dog, and under another, firelocks and spades ; 
which is another curious change from the bow and arrows. Then 
they go to a hiU covered with wood, which suits the country about 
Stirling ; and the lad is made to dig a hole with the spade, and 
put his head into it. The old giant whistles, and nearly splits 
the boy's head ; and he does this thrice. The first time the boy 
sees deer as big as peat-stacks ; the second, as large as house ; 
the third, as large as hills ; and they slip " cue buie mac kill e 
buiach," the yellow dog after them. 

Then they kindle a fire and roast the deer. Here the bettle 
has dropped out, and the boy eats some, and old giant is flirious ; 
for if he had eaten all he would have recovered his sight. Then 
he took the boy to a wood, and made him shoot a blackbird on 
its nest, and he took home a leg, which was so heavy that it 
broke the table. 

Then they tried to get the old man to tell them more about 
the Faen, but he would not, because they would not believe him ; 
and the next day he went with the boy to a weU, and wrung his 
neck, to keep him silent also. 

Here, as in all the versions which I have got, the h\&ckbird 
seems to be hauled in to account for the Gaelic word, which is but 
rarely used, and whose meaning is forgotten. Lon dubh means 
bjackòtre^ or black Elk; and surely deer as big as hills might have 
done to prove the wonders of the olden time. These three 
versions of the same story show, as well as any which I have, 
how the same tale changes in various localities, and why. 

In Sterling and in Sutherland Gaelic is fading rapidly. Elks 
have ceased to exist in Scotland ; and the tradition has changed 
with the times, and shapes itself to suit the ideas of the narrators, 
and the country about them. 


From Alexander MacNeill^ tenant and fiBherman. Then 

Tangual, Barra. 

THERE was a poor mdow in Barra, and she had a 
babe of a son, and Iain was his name. She would 
be going to the strand to gather shell-fish to feed herself 
and her babe. When she was on the strand on a day, 
what did she see but a vessel on the west of Barra. 
Three of those who were on board put out a boat, and 
they were not long coming on shore. 

She went to the shore and she emptied out the 
shell-fish beside her. The master of the vessel put a 
question to her, ^' What thing was that V She said that 
it was strand shell-fish the food that she had. '' What 
little fair lad is this Ì " — " A son of mine." — " Give 
him to me and I will give thee gold and silver, and he 
will get schooling and teaching, and he will be better 
oflT than to be here with thee.** — " I had rather suffer 
death than give the child away." — "Thou art silly. 
The child and thyself will be well off if thou lettest 
him (go) with me." With the love of the money she 
said that she would give hiTTi the child. "Come 
hither, lads, go on board ; here 's for you the key. Open 
a press in the cabin, and you will bring me hither a 
box that you will find in it" They went away, they 
did that, and they came. He caught the box, he opened 


it) he emptied it with a gush (or into her skirt), and 
he did not count it all, and he took the child with him. 
She staid as she was, and when she saw the child 
going on board she would have given all she ever saw 
that she had him. He sailed away, and he went to 
England. He gave schooling and teaching to the boy- 
till he was eighteen years on the vessel. It was Iain 
Àlbanach the boy was called at first, he gave hÌTTì the 
name of Iain Mac a Maighstir (John, master's son), 
because he himself was master of the vessel. The 
"owner" of the vessel had seven ships on sea, and 
seven shops* on shore — each one going to her own 
shop with her cargo. It happened to the seven ships 
to be at home together. The ovmer took with him the 
seven skippers to the house, " I am growing heavy and 
aged," said he ; " you are there seven masters ; I had 
none altogether that I would rather than thou. I am 
without a man of clan though I am married; I know 
not with whom I wiU leave my goods, and I have a 
great share ; there was none I would rather give it to 
than thee, but that thou art without clan as I am my- 
self" "I," said the skipper, "have a son eighteen 
years of age in the ship, who has never been let out of 
her at alL" — " Is not that wonderful for me, and that 
I did not hear of it ! " — " Many a thing might the 
like of me have, and not tell it to you." — " Gro and 
bring him down hither to me that I may see him." 
He went and he brought him down, and he set him in 
order. " Is this thy son ? " — " It is," said the skipper. 
"Whether wouldst thou rather stay with me, or go 
with thy father on the sea as thou wert before, and 
that I should make thee an heir for ever Ì " — " Well 
then, it was ever at sea that I was raised, and I never 
got much on shore from my youth ; so at sea I would 

* ButhanaU) Booths. 


rather be; but as you are detennined to keep me, let 
me stay with yourseK." 

" I have seven shops on shore, and thou must take 
thy hand in the seven shops. There are clerks at 
every one of the shops," said he. "No one of them 
will hold a bad opinion of himself that he is not as 
good as L K you insist that I take them, I will take 
the seventh one of them." 

He took the seventh one of the shops, and the first 
day of his going in he sent word through the town, 
the thing that was before a pound would be at fifteen 
shillings ; so that everything in the shop was down, 
and the shop was empty before the ships came. He 
(the owner) went in, he counted his money, and he 
said that the shop was empty. " It is not wonderful 
though it were, when the thing that was before a pound 
is let down to fifteen shillings." — "And my oide are 
you taking that ill Ì Do you not see that I would put 
out all in the shop seven times before they could put it 
out once." — "With that thou must take the rest in 
hand, and let them out so." Then he took the rest in 
hand, and he was a master above the other clerks. 
When the ships came the shops altogether were 
empty. Then his master said, " Whether wouldst thou 
rather be master over the shops or go with one of 
the seven ships Ì Thou wilt get thy choice of the seven 
ships." — " It is at sea I was ever raised and I will take 
a ship." He got a ship. " Come, send hither here 
to me the seven skippers." The seven skippers 
came. "Now," said he to the six skippers that 
were going with Iain, "Iain is going with you, you 
will set three ships before and three behind, and he 
will be in the middle, and unless you bring him whole 
hither to me, there is but to seize you and hang 
you." — "Well, then, my adopted father," said Iain, 


" that is not nght. The . ships axe going together, a 
storm may come and drive us from each other ; let 
each do as best he may." The ships went, they sailed, 
and it was a cargo of coal thiat Iain put in his own. 
There came on them a great day of storm. They were 
driven from each other. Where did Iain sail but to 
Turkey. He took anchorage in Turkey at early day, 
and he thought to go on shore to take a walk He 
was going before him walking ; he saw two out of their 
shirts working, and as though they had two iron flails. 
What had they but a man's corpse ! " What are you 
doing to the corpse Ì " — " It was a Christian ; we had 
eight marks against him, and since he did not pay us 
while he was aHve, we will take it out of his corpse 
with the flaUs." — " Well then, leave him with me and 
I will pay you tìie eight marks." He seized him, he 
took him from them, he paid them, and he put mould 
and earth on him. It was soon for him to return till 
he should see more of the land of the Turk. He went 
on a bit and what should he see there but a great 
crowd of men together. He took over where they 
were. What did he see but a gaping red fire of a 
•great hot fire, and a woman stripped between the fire 
and theuL " What," said he, " are you doing here Ì '' 
" There are," said they, " two Christian women that 
the great Turk got ; they were caught on the ocean ; he 
has had them from the end of eight years. This one 
was promising him that she would marry him every 
year ; when the time came to marry him she would not 
marry him a bit. He ordered herself and the woman 
that was with her to be burnt. One of them was 
burnt, and this one is as yet unbumt" 

" I will give you a good lot of silver and gold if 
you will leave her with me, and you may say to hiTn 
that you burnt her." They looked at each other. 


114 ^^^^l^ mOHLAND TALES. 

They said that he would get that. He went and he 
took her with him on board, and he clothed her in 
cloth and linen. 

" Now," said she " thou hast saved my life for me ; 
thou must take care of thyself in this place. Thou 
shalt go up now to yonder change-house. The man of 
the inn will put a question to thee what cargo thou 
hast Say thou a cargo of coaL He will say that 
would be well worth selling in the place where thou art 
Say thou it is for selling it that thou art come ; what 
offer will he make for it He will say, to-morrow at 
six o'clock there would be a waggon of gold going 
down, and a waggon of coal coming up, so that the 
ship might be kept in the same trirn^* till six o'clock 
on the next night Say thou that thou wilt take 
that ; but unless thou art watchful they will come in 
the night when every man is asleep, with muskets and 
pistols ; they will set the ship on the ground ; they 
will kill every man, and they will take the gold with 

He went to the man of the inn, and agreed with 
him as she had taught him. They began on the morrow, 
in the morning, to put down the gold and take up the 
coal. The skipper had a man standing looking out 
that the vessel should be in trim. When the coal was 
out, and the ship was as heavy with the gold as she was 
with the coal ; and when he was on shore, she got an 
order for the sailors to take her advice till he should 
come. "Put up," said she, "the sails, and draw the 
anchors. Put a rope on shore." They did that He 
came on board ; the ship sailed away through the night ; 
they heard a shot, but they were out, and they never 
caught them more. 

They sailed till they reached England. Three 

* Tramp. 


ships had returned, and the three skippers were in 
prison tm Iain should come back. Iain went up and 
he reached his adopted father. The gold was taken 
on shore, and the old man had two-thirds and Iain a 
third. He got chambers for the woman, where she 
should not be troubled. 

" Art thou thinking that thou wilt go yet V said 
the woman to him. "I am thinking that I have 
enough of the world with that same," — " Thou wentest 
before for thine own wiU, if thou wouldst be so good 
as to go now with my will." — "I will do that" — 
" Gome to that shop without j take from it a coat, and 
a brigis, and a waistcoat ; try if thou canst get a cargo 
of herring and thou shalt go with it to Spain- When 
the cargo is in, come where I am before thou goest." 

When he got the cargo on board he went where 
she was. " Hast thou got the cargo on board Ì " — " I 
have got it" 

" There is a dress here, and the first Sunday after 
thou hast reached the Spain thou wHt put it on^ and 
thou wilt go to the church with it Here is a whistle 
and a ring, and a book. Let there be a horse and a 
servant with thee. Thou shalt put the ring on thy 
finger ; let the book be in thine hand ; thou wilt see 
in the church three seats, two twisted chairs of gold, 
and a chair of silver. Thou shalt take hold of the 
book and be reading it, and the first man that goes 
out of the church be thou out Wait not for man 
alive, unless the King or the Queen meet thee." 

He sailed till he reached the Spain; he took 
anchorage, and he went up to the change-house. He 
asked for a dinner to be set in order. The dinner was 
set on the board. They went about to seek him. A 
trencher was set on the board, and a cover on it^ and 
the housewife said to him — " There is meat and drink 


enough on the board before yon, take enough, but do 
not lift the cover that is on top of the trencher." She 
drew the door witìi her. He began at his dinner. He 
thought to himself, though it were its fill of gold that 
were in the trencher, or a fill of " daoimean," * nothing 
ever went on board that he might not pay. He lifted 
the cover of the trencher, and what was on the trencher 
but a couple of herring. " If this be the thing she was 
hiding from me she need not," and he ate one herring 
and the one side of the other. When the housewife 
saw that the herring was eaten, — " Mo chreach mhor 1 
my great ruin " said she ; " how it has fallen out ! 
Was I never a day that I could not keep the people 
of the reahn tiU to-day 1''—" What has befaUen thee ?" 
— " It is, that I never was a day that I might not put a 
herring before them till to-day." — " What wouldst thou 
give for a barrel of herrings?" — "Twenty Saxon 
pounds." — " What wouldst thou give for a ship load ?" 
— "That isathing that I could not buy."— "Well, then, 
I will give thee two hundred herring for the two herring, 
and I wish the ship were away and the herrings sold" 
On the first Sunday he got a horse with a bridle 
and saddle,t and a giUie. He went to the church ; he 
saw the three chairs. The queen sat on the right 
hand of the king, and he himself sat on the left ; he 
took the book out of his pocket, and he began reading. 
It was not on the sermon that the king's looks were, 
nor the queen's, but raining tears. When the sermon 
skailed he went out. There were three nobles after him, 
shouting that the king had a matter for him. He would 
not return; He betook himself to the change-house 
that night He staid as he was till the next Sunday, 
and he went to sermon ; he would not stay for €uiy 
one, and he returned to tìie change-house. The third 

* Diamonds. f AU riders have not these luxuries. 

^m^tg^r^m^rB9^^jf^i^Wimmf^f^^fKr^^nm^i^^^^m^i^f^r^^P9^^^^r^^^^^<^ir^smrTJ.~' ' '»*. 


Sunday lie went to the church. In the middle 
of the sermon the king and queen came out; they 
stood at each side of the (bridle) rein. When the 
king saw him coming out he let go the rein ; he 
took his hat off to the ground, and he made manners 
at hinL "By your leave; you needn't make such 
manners at me. It is I i^at should make them to 
yourself." — "K it were your will that you should go 
with me to the palace to take dinner." — " Ud ! Ud ! it 
is a man below you with whom I would go to dinner." 
They reached the palace. Food was set in the place 
of eating, drink in the place of drinking, music in the 
place of hearing. They were plying the feast and the 
company with joy and gladness,* because they had 
hopes that they would get news of their daughter. 
"Oh, skipper of the ship," said the queen, "hide not 
£rom me a thing that I am going to ask thee." Any 
thing that I have that I caa tell I will not hide it from 
you." " And hide not from me that a woman's hand 
set that dress about your back, your coat, your brigis, 
and your waistcoat, and gave you the ring about your 
finger, and the book that was in your hand, and the 
whistle that you were playing." " I will not hide it. 
With a woman's right hand every whit of them was 
reached to me." " And where didst thou find her ? 
'T is a daughter of mine that is there." " I know not 
to whom she is daughter. I found her in Turkey about 
to be burned in a great gaping fire." " Sawest thou a 
woman along with her ? " "I did not see her ; she 
was burned before I arrived. I bought her with gold 
and sUver. I took her with me, and I have got her in 
a chamber in England. " " The king had a great general," 
said the queen, " and what should he do but fall in love 

* This passage is one common to many reciters, and spoiled 
by translation. 


with her. Her father was asking her to marry him, and 
she would not marry him. She went away herself and the 
daughter of her father's brother with a vessel, to try if 
he would forget her. They went over to Turkey ; the 
Turk caught them, and we had no hope to see her ahve 
for ever." 

"K it be your pleasure, and that you yourself 
are willing, I will set a ship with you to seek her ; 
you will get herself to marry, half the realm so long 
as the king hves, and the whole realm when he is 
dead." "I scorn to do that ; but send a ship and a 
skipper away, and I will take her home ; and if that 
be her own will, perhaps I will not be against it." 

A ship was made ready ; what should the general 
do but pay a lad to have him taken on board unknown 
to the skipper ; he got himself hidden in a barrel 
They sailed far ; short time they were in reaching 
England They took her on board, and they sailed 
back for Spain. In the midst of the sea, on a fine 
day, he and she came up on deck, and what should he 
see but an island beyond him ; it was pretty calm at 
the time. " Lads, take me to the island for a while 
to hunt, tiU there comes on us the likeness of a breeze." 
'* We wilL" They set him on shore on the island ; 
when they left him on the island the boat returned. 
When the general saw that he was on the island, he 
promised more wages to the skipper and to the crew, 
for that they should leave him there ; and they left 
Iain on the island 

When she perceived that they had left Iain on the 
island, she went mad, and they were forced to bind 
her. They sailed to Spain. They sent word to the 
king that his daughter had grown silly, as it seemed, 
for the loss of the form of her husband and lover. The 
king, betook himself to sorrow, to black melancholy, and 

«■ ■■■•"■^<v^P^«n«iHWMi«i«a0*w«vBv^ 


to woe, and to heart-bieaking, because of what had 
azisen; and (because) he bad but her of son or 

Iain was in the island, hair and beard grown over 
Mm; the hair of his head down between his two 
shoulders, his shoes worn to pulp, without a thread 
of clothes on that was not gone to rags ; without a 
bite of flesh on him, his bones but sticking together. 

On a night of nights, what should he hear but the 
rowing of a boat coming to the island. ^^ Art thou 
there, Iain Albanich Ì " said the one in the boat 
Though he was, he answered not. He would rather 
find death at the side of a hill than be kiUed. 

^' I know that thou hearest me, and answer ; it is 
just as well for thee to answer me, as that I should go 
up and take thee down by force." He went, and he 
took himself down. ^* Art thou willing to go out of 
the island V* ^^ Well, then, I am j it is I that am 
that^ if I could get myself taken out of it" " What 
wouldst thou give to a man that would take thee out 
of this Ì" " There was a time when I might give 
something to a man that would take me out of this ; 
but to day I have not a thing." " Wouldst thou give 
me half tìiy realm ?" " No realm will ever be mine ; 
if there were, I would give it" " Wouldst thou give 
one half of thy wife to a man that would take thee out 
of this 1" " I have not that" " I do not say if thou 
hadst, that thou wouldst give her away." " I would 
give her." " Wouldst thou give half thy children to 
a man that would take thee out of this ?" '' I would 
^ve them." " Down hither ; sit in the stem of the 
boat" He sat in the stem of the boat " Whether 
wouldst thou rather go to England or Spain ?" " To 
Spain." He went with him, and before the day came 
he was in Spain. 


He went up to the change house ; the housewife 
knew him in a moment ^^ Is this Iain ! " said she. 
" It is the sheath of all that there was of him that is 

" Poorly has it befallen thee I" said sha She went 
and she sent a message to a barber's booth, and he was 
cleansed; and word to a taQor's booth, and clothes were 
got for him ; she sent word to a shoemaker's booth, and 
shoes were got for him. On the morrow when he was 
properly cleansed and arrayed, he went to the palace of 
the king, and he played the whistle. When the king's 
daughter heard the whistle she gave a spring, and she 
broke the third part of the cord that bound her. They 
asked her to keep still, and they tied more cords on 
her. On the morrow he gave a blast on the whistle, 
and she broke two parts of all that were on her. On 
the third day when she heard his whistle, -she broke 
three quarters ; on the fourth day she broke what was 
on her altogether. She rose and she went out to meet 
him, and there never was a woman more sane than 
she. Word was sent up to the king of Spain, that 
there never was girl more sane than she ; and that the 
bodily presence of her husband and lover had come to 

A " coach" was sent to fetch Iain ; the king and his 
great gentles were with him ; he was taken up on 
the deadly points.* Music was raised, and lament laid 
down ; meat was set in the place of eating, drink in 
the place of drinking, music in the place for hearing ; 
a cheery, hearty, jolly wedding was made. Iain got 
on# half of the realm ; after the king's death he got it 
altogether. The general was seized ; he was torn 

* This I take to be a phrase wrongly used ; an old phrase, 
meaning that the personage was raised on spears. The passage 
is common. 


amongst horses ; he was homed amongst fires ; and 
the ashes were let (fly) with the wind. 

After the death of the king and queen, Iain was 
king over Spain. Three sons were horn to him. On 
a night he heard a knocking in the door. " The asker 
is come," said he. Who was there hut the very man 
that took him out of the island. " Art thou for keep- 
ing thy promise ? " said the one who came. " I am," 
said Iain. " Thine own he thy realm, and thy children 
and my hlessing ! Dost thou rememher when thou 
didst pay eight merks for the corpse of a man in 
Turkey ; that was my hody ; health he thine ; thou 
wilt see me no more. 


Bha bantrach bhochd ann am Barra, agus bha leanabh mic, aice agns 
*s e Iain a b' ainm dba. Bhiodh i dol do 'n tràigh a chruinneachadh 
maoraich airson i fhin 's an leanabh a bheatbachadh. Nur a bha i 
'saD trèdgh latha bha 'n sin d^ chtumaic i ach soitheach air an aird an 
lar de Bharra. Cbuir trioir de na bha air bòrd a mach bàta 's cha b ' 
fhada bha end a* tigh 'n air tir. Chaidh ise gos a' chladach 's dhbirt 
i 'm maorach làmh riutha. Chuir Maighstir an t-soithich ceisd urra 
de 'n rod a bha 'n sind. Thuirt i go 'n robh maorach cladaich* am 
biadh a bh' aice. ** De 'n gille beag, ban a tha 'n so ? " Mac domh. 
* Thoir dhomhs' e, agus bheir mi dhuit or agus airgiod, agus gheibh 
e Bgoil as ionnsachadh^'s bidh e na 's fheàrr 'na bhi agads' an so." 
" '3 fheàrr learn bàs fhuileann na 'm pàisd' a thoirt seachad.'' ** Tha 
thu gòrrach, bidh thu flùn 's an leanabh go math ma Ugeas tu learn e." 
Le gaol an airgid thuirt i gon d' thugadh i 'n leanabh da. " Thallaibh 
an soghillean. Theirigibh air bòrd ; so duibh iuchair ; fosglaibh^rcj^ 
aans a chahin, 's bheir sibh thugamsa bòsdan a gheibh sibh ann." Dh' 
fhalbh eud ; rinn end siud 's thàinig eud. Rug e air bocsa* dh' fhosgail e 
e— dhoirt e 'na sgnirt e 's cha do chunnd e idir e, 's thug e leis an lean- 
aUi. Dh' fhan ise mur a bha i, 's nur chunnaic i *n leanabh a dol air 
bòfrd, bheireadh i na chunnaic i riabh go 'n robh e aice. Sheòl esan 


air fÌEdbh agus ghabh e go ndge Sasann. Thug e Bgoil a*8 ionnsach- 
adh do 'n bhalach gos an robh e ochd bliadhna diag, air:aii t-soitheach. 
'Se Iain Albannach a bh* air a* bhalacb an toiseach. Thag esan Iain 
Mac a Mhaighstir air' a thaobh gom be fhin maighstir an t-soithich. 
Bha aig owner an t-soithich seachd soithichean air mnir' agns seachd 
bhthannan air tir — a' h-uile t4 gabhail thun a bùth fbìn le a luchd* 
Thachair do na seachd loingeas a bhi aig an tigh comhla. Thug an 
sealbhadair suas leis na seachd sgiobairean thun an tighe. *' Tha mi 
'fas trom aosdV urs' esan. ** Tha sibh an sin seachd maighstirean — cba 
robh gin agam gu Mir a bu docha leam na thusa — tha mi gon doine 
cloinne gad a tha mi posda. Cha*n 'eil fhios'am co aig a dh* fhàgas 
mi mo chuid, agas cnid mhòr agam. Cha robh gin a bn docha leam a 
thoirt da na thusa, ach go 'bheil thn gon chlann mu: mi fhin." ** Th& 
agams'," vrs' an sgiobair, *' mac ochd bliadhna diag a dh' aois anns an 
t-soitheach gon a liginn aisd' idir." ** Nach nebnach leamsa sin agad 
s gon mise g'a chluinntinn riabh." *' 'S iomadh md a dh' fhaodadh a bhi 
aig mo leithidsa nach bithinn aig innseadh dhuibhse." ** Falbh 's thoir 
thugams' a nuas e 's gom faicinn e." Dh' fhalbh e 's thug e nuas e, 's 
chnir e 'n òrdugh e. " An e so do mhacsa ?" ** 'S e," urs' an sgiobalr. 
" Coca 's fhekrr leat fuireachd agamsa, na falbh le t' athair air a' mhoir 
mur a bha thu roimhid, 's gun dian mise dileabach diotgo bràthach." 
*' Mata 's ann air muir a fhuair mi mo thogail riabh, 's cha d' fhuair mi 
dad m' big air tir ; le sin 's ann air muir a b' fheàrr leam a bhi; ach 
o 'n tha sibhs' a' cur roimhibh go 'n cum sibh mi *gom fan mi agaiibh 
fhin." ** Tha seachd bhthannan agam air tir, agus feamaidh ta làmh 
a ghabhail anns na seachd bhthannan." " Tha cMireach aig a h-nile 
fear riabh de na bhthannan," urs' esan, ** cha gabh h-aon aca droch bhar- 
ail orra flùn, nach 'eil end cho math riamsa ; ma tha sibh a cor mar 
fhiachaibh ormsa go 'n gabh mi end, gabhaidh mi 'n seachdamh fear 

Ghabh e 'n seachdamh fear de na bhthannan, 'sa chiadlathada dol 
ann 'chuir e fios feadh a' bhaile, an md a bha roimhid punnd gom biodh 
e air còig tasdain diag, air alt 's gon d' thàinig 'h-uile md a bha a' 
bhhth nuas 's gon robh 'm bhth falamh ma 'n d' thidnig na soithich- 
ean. Ohaidh e stigh, chuundais e chuid airgid, 's thuirt e go 'n robh 'm 
bhth falamh. *< Cha n' ioghnadh gad a bhitheadh, san rod a bha 
roimhid air punnd thu g'a ligeil sios go còig tasdain diag." ** Agns 
oide 'bheil sibhse'ga ghabhail sin go h-olc; nach 'eil sibh a' fiiicmn 
gon cuirinnsa mach na bh' anns a bhhth seachd uairean ma 'n coir- 
eadh eudsan a mach aon uair e." ** Leis an sin feumaidh tu làmh a 
ghabhail ri each agus an ligeil a mach mur sin." Ghabh e n sin 
lamh ri chch, agus bha e 'na mhaighstir as donn nan dtfireach 


eile. Nor a thainig na soithichean bha na buthannan go Mir 

Thuirt a mhaighstir ris a nis, " Coca 's fbekrr leat a bhi 'd' mhaigh- 
stir thar nam buthannan, nafalbh le h-aon de na seachd soithichean ; 
gheibh thn do roi.a:hinn de na seacbd soithichean." ** 'S ann air muir a 
thogadh riabh mi 's gabhaidh mi soitheach." Fhuair e soitheach. 
" Thallaibh coiribh thugamsa na seachd egiobairean." Thàinig na 
seachd sgiobairean a 'ionnsoidh. ** Nis/' nrs* esan, ris na sia sgiobairean 
a bha del le Iain. '* Tha Iain a* dol leibh — cuiridh sibh tri soithichean 
air thoiseach, 's tri air deireadh, 's bidh esan 'sa mhiadhon ; 's mnr an 
d' thoir sibh thugamsa slàn e cha *n 'eil ach breith oirbh 's 'nr croch- 
adh." ** Mata m* oide," nrs' Iain, " cha *n 'eil sin freagarrach. Tha na 
soithichean a' falbh oomhla; faodaibh stoirm tighinn agus arfaadach 
o ch^e. Dianadh h-uile h-aon mar is fheàrr a dh' fhaodas e." 

Dh' fhalbb na soithichean— sheòl end— agus 'se luchd goail a 
chmr Iain a stigh na the f bin. Thàinig latha mòr stoirm orra. Dh' 
fhnadaicheadh o chèiF end. C* a 'n do shebl Iain ach do 'n Tnirc 
Ghabh e acair 's an Tnirc trath iatha. Smaoinich e dol air tìr a 
ghabhail srìdd. Bha e gabhail roimhe 'coiseachd. Chunnaic e dith- 
isd as an l^intean ag obair, 's mar gom biodh da shMsid iaruinn aca. 
De bh' ac' ach corp doine. " D^ tha sibh a dianadh ris a' chorp." " 'Se 
(Mofldaidh a bh' ann. Bha ochd mairg againn air, 's o'n nach do 
phkigh e sinn nur a bha e beo bheir sinn a a chorp leis na stiisdean 
e.** ''liata ligibh learns' e agus pàighidh mi dhuibh na h>ochd 
mairg.'* Rug e air— thug e nath' e — ^phaigh e end agus chuir e hir as 
talamh air. 

Bha e loath leis tilleadh air ais gos am faiceadh e tuillidh de dh' 
fhearann na Tuirc. Ghabh e air aghaidh treis, agus de chunnaic e 'n 
sin ach gronnan mòr dhaoine cruinn. Ghabh e null far an robh end. 
D^ chonnaic e ach craoslach mòr teine, de theine mhor leatbann, 
agos boireannach rhisgt' eadar an teine 's eud fhin. *< De," nrs' esan 
' a tha sibh a dianadh an so." ** Tha," nrs' eudsan, ** da bhana chriosd- 
aidh a fhoair an Turcach mbr. Rugadh orra air a' chuan. Tha eud o 
dieann ochd bliadhna aige. Bha 'n te so 'gealltainn da gom pòsadh 
i e h-nile bliadhna. Nur thMnig an t-am cha phbsadh i bad deth. 
Dh' òrdaich e 1 fhin 's am boireannach a bha comhla rithe 'losgadh. 
Loiflgeadh an damatè dhiu's tha i so gon losgadh fhathasd." '* Bheir 
mi fhin doibh tiodhlac math airgid agus òir ma ligeas sibh learn i, 
agus fiaodaidh sibh a ràdh ris gon do loisg sibh i." Sheall eud air a 
chèile. Thuirt eud gom faigheadh e siud. Dh' fhalbh e 's thug e 

air bord i, agus sgeadaich e i 'n aodach 's an anart. 

" Nis," ors' ise, <* shabhail thu mo bheatha dhomh. Feumaidh to 'n 


aire thoirt ort fhin 's an àite so. Th^id thu snas a nis do 'n tigh 
sheins' ud shuas. Cuindh fear an tigh sheinse ceisd ort d^ 'n luchd 
a th* agad. Abraidh tusa Inchd goail. Abraidh esan gor math a 
mhiadh siud 'san kite a bheil thn airson a reic. Abraidh tusa gor ann 
airson a reic a thàinig thu ; dè *n tairgse bheir e air. Their esan, ** A 
màireach air sia uairean bidh waggon bir a' dol a sios 's waggon guail 
a' dol a suas, air alt 's gon cumar an soitheach amis an aon ti^mp go 
sia uairean an ath oidhch'." Abair thusa gon gabh thu siud ; ach anns 
an oidhche' mur am bi thusa a*d-earalas thig eud 's an oidhche, nura 
tha h-uile duine na 'n cadal, le musgannan 's le dagannan ; cuiridh 
eud an soitheach air a ghrund; marbhaidb eud a h-uile duine, 's *bheir 
eud leo an t-òr. Chaidh e far an robh fear an tigh sheise agus chord 
e ris mar a shebl is* e. Thòisich eud an la'r na mhàireach 'sa mhad- 
ainn air cur sios an bir 's air toirt suas a* ghuaiL Bha fear aig an sgiob- 
air 'na sheasamh ag amharc gom biodh an soitheach ann an trump. 
Nur a bha 'n gual a mach, 'sa bha 'n soitheach cho trom leis an br 's a 
bha i leis a ghual, 's nur a bha esan air tir, fhuair is' òrdan na seòl- 
adairean a ghabhail a comhairle gos an d' thigeadh esan. '* Cuiribh 
suas," urs' ise, "na siuil, *s tàimibh na h' acraichean. Cuiribh 
rbp' air tir." Rinn eud siud. Thàinig esan air bbrd. Shebl an soith- 
each air falbh feadh na h-oidhche. Chual eud urchair; ach bha eud- 
san a mach 's cha d' rug eud orra tuillidh. Shebl eud go niige 
Sasunn. Bha tri soithichean air tilleadh, 's bha na tri sgiobairean 
am priosan gos an tilleadh Iain. Ghabh Iain suas 's ràinig e oide. 
Chaidh an t-br a thoirt air tìr, 's bha da dhrian aig a bhodach, 's drian 
aig Iain. Fhuair e seombraicheau do 'n bhoireannach far nach cnirte 
dragh urra. 

''A bheil thu smaointeachadh go falbh thu fhathasd," urs' am boir- 
eannach ris. *^Tha mi smaointeachadh go bheil na leoir dhe'nt-saoghal 
agam siud fhin." ** Dh' fhalbh t|iu roimhid le t* thoil f hln ; na 'm biodh 
tu cho math 's gom falbhadh thu nis le 'm thoilsa." ** Ni mi sin." 
** Thalia do 'n bhuth ud a muigh, thoir as cbt', agus brigis, agus peit- 
ean. Feuch am faigh thu luchd sgadain, agus th^id thu do 'n Spain 
leis. Nur a bhios an luchd a stigh thig far a bheil mise ma 'm falbh 

Nur a Fhuair e 'n luchd air bbrd chaidh e far an robh i. *' An d' 
fhuair thu 'n luchd air bord?" " Fhuair." " Tha deise 'n so, 's a chiad 
Domhnach an dèìgh dhuit an Spain a ruigheachd, cuiridh tu umad i, 
agus theid thu do 'n eaglais leatha. So fideag, agus fàinne, agus 
leobhar. Bidh each agus gille leat. Cuiridh tu 'm fàinne air 
do mhiar, bidh an leobhar a'd' làimh. Chi thu anns an eaglais 
tri cathraichean« da chathair amlnidh bir, agus cathair airgid. Beiridh 


ta air an leabhar 's bidh tha *ga leubhadh; 's a' chiad dnin' a th^id 
a mach as an eaglais bi thus' amach, na fan ri duine beo mar an 
coinnich an righ sa bhan-ngh thu." 

Sheòl e go ruig an Spain, ghabb e acarsaid, *8 ghabh e anas do 'n 

tigh sheinse. Dh' iarr e dinneir a cbiir air dòigh. Chuireadh tm 

dinnear air a bbòrd. Dh' iadhaicheadh sios 'ga iarraidb. Chuireadh 

a BÌ08 tfiruear air a' bhbrd, agus mias air a mhninn, agus thuirt bean 

an tigh sheinse ris. *' Tha biadh a*s deoch na leoir air a bhòrd ma 'r 

ooinneamh; gabhaibh 'ur leoir, ach na togaibh a mhias a th' air muinn 

an trvMetr." Tharruinn i 'n doras leatha. Thbisich e air a dhinneir. 

Smaoinich e aige fhin gad a b* e 'Ian òir a bhiodh anns an trinseir, na 

Ian daoimean, nach deachaidh sgath riabh air a' bhòrdnach fhaodadh 

e phàigheadh. Thog e mhias bhàr an triaseir, 's d^ bh' air an trinsear 

ach da sgadan. "Ma 's e so rud a bha i falach orm cha ruigeadh i leas 

e." Dh' ith e aon sgadan 's na dama taobh do 'n fhear eile. Nur 

cbonnaic bean an tighe gon robh 'n sgadan ithte. *' Mo chreach mhbr," 

nrs' ise, " mar a dh' èiridh domh ; nach robh mi latha riabh nach 

fhaodainn muinntir na rioghachd a ghleidheadh gos an diugh. De 

dh'eiridh dhnit?" "Tha nach robh ml latha riabh nach faodainn 

8gadan a char air am bialthaobh gos an diagh." " De bheireadh tha 

air baraille sgadan ?" " Fichead pannd Sasnach." " De bheireadh 

tha air lachd soithich ? " " Sin rud nach b' nrra mi 'cheannach." 

"Mata bheir mise doit da chiad sgadan airson an da sgadain. B* 

fheanr leam gon robh 'n soitheach air fedbh 's na sgadain 


A diiad Di Domhnaich fhuair e each le strian as diollaid, a^as 
gille. Dh' fhalbh e do 'n eaglais. Chonnaic e na tri cathraichean. 
Shuidh a bhanrigh air an làimh dheas de 'n righ 's shoidh e fhin air 
an làimh thosgail. Thag e mach an leobhar a a phbca 's thòisich e 
air leubhadh. Cha b' ann air searmoin a bha air' aig an ligh na aig 
a bhanrigh, ach a' sileadh nan diar. Nar a sgaoil an t-searmoin 
^bh e mach. Bha triuir stktan as a dh^igh, aig eubhach ris gon 
lobh gnothach aig an righ ris. Cha tilleadh e. Thag e 'n tigh 
Kins' an oidhche sin air. Dh' fhan e mar a bha egos an ath Dhomh- 
nach. Chaidh e 'n t-searmoin, cha 'n fhanadh e ri duine, *8 thill 
e do 'n thigh sheinse. An treas Domhnach chaidh e do 'n 
eaglais. Am miadhan na searmoin thàinig an righ 's a' bhanrigh 
a nuu:h. Sheas end aig gach taobh do 'n t-sr^in. Nur chonnaic an 
righ esan a tigh 'n a mach, lig e as an t-srian, thug e ada dheth go 
Isr, '■ rinn e modh dha. " Le 'r cead cha ruig sibh a leas a leithid sin de 
mhodh a dhianadh dhomhsa, 's ann a bu choir dhomhsa dhianadh 
dhnibh fhin.*' " Na 'm b' e 'or toil gon rachadh sibh lein na ghabhail 


dinnear do V phaUecu,^* " Ud ud 's e, duine sios uaibhse raohaiaDns 
^ghabhail dinnearach leis 1" 

Bainig eud am paileas. Chuireadh biadh an kite 'chaitheadh 
dhaibh, agus deoch an kite ^h-òì, 's cebl an ait' ^deachd. Bha eud a' 
caitheadh na cnirme 's na cuideachd le solas 's le toil-inntinn, ri linn 
dtiil a bhi aca gom faigheadh end naigheadxd air an nighinn. '*A. 
sgiobair na lainge," urs' a bhanrigh, ** na ceil orm dad a tha mi dol a 
db' fhoighneachd diot." ** Dad sam bith a th' agams' is iirrunn mi 
innseadh dhuibh cha cheil mi oirbh." ^ Na ceilibh orm nach làmh 
boireannaich a chuir a' chulaidh sin ma'r driom, bhur cota, bhnr 
brigis, 's 'ur peitean ; 's a thug dhuibh am f àinne bha mu'r miar, 's 
an leobhar a bha 'nur lèdmh, 's an fhideag a bha sibh a* seinn.'* 
*' Cha cheil mi. Le làimh dheas boireannaich a shineadh a h-uile 
sgath dhiu sin domhsa." *' *S c'àit' an d' fhuair thu i ? *8 nighean 
leams' a tha 'n sin." ^ Cha 'n 'eil fios agamsa co da 'n nighean i. 
Fhuair mis' i anns an Tuirc a' dol g'a losgadh ann an craoslach 
mòr teine.'* "Am fac thu boireannach comhla rithe?'' '*Cha'n 
fhac. Bha i 'n deigh a losgadh ma 'n d' ràinig mi. Cheannaich mi 
ise le h-br 's le airgiod, thug mi leam i, 's tha i ann an seombar an 
Sasunn." ** Bha Seanailear mòr aig an righ," ars' a' bhanrigh, '* 's dè 
rinn e ach gaol a ghabhail urra. Bha h-athair aig iarraidh urra 
phbsadh 's cha phòsadh i e. Dh' fhalbh i fhin 's nighean bhràthar a 
h-athar le soitheach, fiach an ligeadh e air diochuimhn' L Chaidheud 
thairls do 'n Tuirc. Ghlac an Turcach eud, 's cha robh dull againn 
a faicinn beò go bràthach." 

*' Ma 'se 'ur toils' e, *8 go bheil sibh fhin deònach, cuiridh mise long 
leibh a 'h iarraidh; gheibh sibh i fhin a' pòsadh, leith na rloghachd fad 
's is beò an righ, 's an rioghachd uile nur a bhios e marbh.'* ** Cha 'n 
fhiach leam sin a dhianadh, ach cuiridh sibhse soitheach agus sgiob- 
air air falbh, 's bheir mise dachaidh i, 's ma 's e sin a toil fhin dh* 
fhaoidte nach bi mise 'na aghaidh." Chaidh soitheach a dhianadh deas. 
D4 rinn an seanailear ach gille phàigheadh* airson a tboirt air bòrd 
gon fhios do 'n sgiobair. Fhuair e, 'san am, e fhin flialach ann aui 
baraille. Shebl eud, fada goirid gon robh eud, go ruige Sasunn. 
Thug eud is' air bòrd 's sheòl eud air an ais airson na Spain. Am 
miadhon a' chuain, lathabriagh, thkinig esan agus isenios air an 
deck, Dè chunnaic e ach eilean an taobh thall deth. Bha e go math 
fèitheil 'san am. ** Ghillean,'^ ars' esan, '* thugaibh mis' air an eilean, 
treis a shealg, gos an d' tbig coslas soirbheis oimn." ** Bheir,'* ars* 
àdsan. Chuir eud air tar air an eilean e. Nur a dh' fhiig eud air an 
eilean e thill am bàta. Nur chunnaic an Seanailear gon robh e air 
an eilean, gheall^e tuillidh tuarasdail do 'n sgiobair agus don qgiobadh, 


'fl end a 'fbiigail an rind agasdh' fhàg end Iain air an eilean. Nur 
amhothaich ise gon d' fhàg eud air an eilean e, chaidh i air a choith- 
each, 8 V eigin a ceanghal. Shebl end do 'n Spain. 

Chnir eud fios 'ionnsuidh an ligh gon robh a nighean an d€igh 
£u gòrrach, a rèir coslais, airson call aobhar a fir *8 a leannaln. 
Chiiidh an righ go molad, 's go leann dugh, 's go brbn, 's go bristeadh 
cridhe ; chionn mar a dh' èirìdh dha, 'a gon a bhi aig' ach i do mbac 
na 'nighean. 

Bha Iain 'san eilean, fhionna 's fhiasag air dol tbairis air, a ghruag 
8108 eadar a dha shlinnean, na brbgan air an cnàmh, 's gun snàthainn 
aodaich air nach robh air falbh na bhideagan gon, ghreim febl air, 
ach na cnàmhan a' leantail ra cheile. Oidhche de na h-oidhchean dè 
chnal e, ach iomram bata tigh 'n thun an eilean. " A bheil thu 'n sin 
Iain Albanuaich? " ars' am fear a bha 'a a bhàta. Gad a bha cha do 
flireagair. B' fheàrr leis bàs fhaotainn taobh cnoic na gbm biodh e 
air a mharbhadh. ^ *' Tha fhios* am go bheil thu 'gam «*lì1ninntinTT 
agns fireagair, 's oearta cho math dhoit mise fhreagairt, 's mi dhol 
nu8y 's gon d' thoir mi nuaa gon taing thu." DV fhalbh e 'a 
ghabh e sios. "A bheil thu debuach falbh as an eilean? " *'Mata 
tfajy '8 mi tha 'sin, na 'm faighinn mo thoirt as." **D4 bheireadh thu 
do dhuine bheireidh as an so thu ? " " Bha uair 's dh' fhaodainn rud 
a thoirt do dhuine bheireadh as an so mi ; ach an diugh cha 'n 'eil 
sgathagam." ''And' thoireadhthudhaleith do rioghachd,?" "Cha 
bhi rioghachd am feasd agam, na 'm bitheadh bheireadh." ** An 
d' thugadh thu 'n dama leith de d' mhnaoi do dhuine bheireadh as 
an 80 thu?" ** Cha 'n 'eil sin agam." <* Cha 'n 'eil mise 'g radh gad a 
bhitheadh gon d' thugadh thu seachad i." << Bheireadh." «An d 
thugadh thu leith do chloinne do dhuine bheireadh as an so thu ? " 
«< Bheireadh." <*Nuas 'suidh an deireadh a' bhàta." Shuidh e 'n 
dfflrftudh a bhàta. ** Co dhiu 's fheàrr leat dol do Shasunn na do 'n 
Spain?" '* Do 'n Spain." Dh' fhalbh e leis, 's ma 'n d' thàmlg 
an latha bha e 'san Spain. 

Ghabh e suas do 'n tigh sheinse. Dh' aithnich bean an tigh sheinse 
'sa mhionaid e. ** An e so Iain ?" ars' ise. *< 'Se 'u truaill de na bh' 
•lifi deth a th' ann," ars' esan. ** 'S bochd mur a dh' ^iridh dhuit," 
ars' ise. Dh' fhalbh i 's chuir i fios go buth bearradair s ghlanadh 
e, choir i fios go bhth tìùlleir 's fhuàradh aodach da, chuir i fios 
go bhth griasaich 's fhuaradh brbgan da. 

An la 'r na mhMreach, nur a bha e air a ghlanadh, 's air a sgead- 
achadh go dbigheil, chaidh e thun phileas an sigh, 's sheinn e 'ji fhid- 
Nur chual nighean an ligh an fhideag thug i leum aisde, 's 
i 'n treas earrann de 'n t-sreang a bha 'ga ceanghal. Dh' iarr 


ead urra fuireachd socair 's cheanghail end tnillidh sreang urra. An 
la 'r na mhàireach thug esan sgàl air an fhideig 's bhris i da earrann 
de na bh' urra. An treas latha, nur a chual i 'n fhideag, bhris i tri earr- 
annan. Air a' cheathramh latha bhris i na bh' urra go Mir. Dh* èirìdh 
i 's chaidh i mach *nacbombdhaiI/s cha robh boireannach riabh a ba 
stbldacha na i. Chuireadh brath saas thun righ na Spain nach robh 
nighean riabh na bu stbldacha na bha i,'s gon d' thàinig aobhar a fir 
'sa leannain a 'h ionnsuidh. 

Chnireadh coach a dh' iarraidh Iain. Bha 'n righ 's a mhòr 
uaislean comhla ris. Thugadh suas air bhàrr bas e. Thogadh cebl 's 
leagadh brbn. Chnireadh biadh an ait' a chaithidh, deoch an ait' a 
h-bl, 's cebl an ait* ^isdeachd. Rinneadh banais, shunndach, eibhinn, 
aighearach. Fhuair Iain an darna leith de 'n rioghachd. An d€igh 
bMs an righ bha 'n rioghachd uile go l^ir aige. Bugadh air an 
t-seanailear, riasladh eadar eachaibh e, loisgeadh eadar thinean e, 's 
ligeadh an loaith leis a' ghaoith. 

An d^igh bàis an righ 's na banrigh bha Iain 'na righ air an 
Spain. Rugadh trinir mac da. Oidhche bha 'n sin chual e bualadh 
'san dorus. '* Tha'n t-iarrtaich air tighinn," nrs' esan. D4 bh' ann 
ach a cheart duin' a thug as an eilean e. ** A bheil thu airson do 
ghealladh a chumail ? " ars' am fear a thàmig. '* Tha," ars' Iain. 
** Biodh do rioghachd 's do chlann agad fhin 's mo bheannachdsa. 
A bheil cuimhn' agad nur a phàigh thu na h-ochd mairg airson cuirp 
an duin' anns an Tuirc ? B'e sin mo chorp sa. Slàn leaf cha 'n 
fhaic thu mise tnillidh." 

Got this tale from Alexander MacNeill, tenant and fisherman, 
Then Tangval, Barra. Heard his father, Roderick MacNeill, 
often recite it. Roderick M acNeill died about twenty years ago, 
about the age of eighty years. Heard it firom many other old 
men in youth, and says it was pretty common then. 

July 1859. H. MacLeak. 

The landscape, and the ways of the poor of Barra, are painted 
from nature ; the flat strand, the shell-fish, the ship in the offing, 
the boat at the edge of the sea. Then comes the popular ro- 
mance, in which the poor man is to become a prince. The life 
of shops and ships, dimly seen, but evident enough. Turkey and 
Spain fairly lost in a distant haze. The commercial principle 

THE BàBBà widow's SON. 1 29 

laid down, that small pivfits make quick retarns ; and that men 
shoald buy in the cheapest, and sell in the dearest market ; and 
aQ this woven with a love story, and mixed np with an old tale 
which Grimm found in Germany ; and which Hans Anderson 
has made the foundation of one of his best tales. Alas, why did 
not the king of Spain send for the Barra widow to make it com- 




From Mrs. MacTavisli, Port Ellen, Islay. 

nPHEEE was before now, a queen who was sick, and 
-*- she had three daughters. Said she to the one 
who was eldest, " Go to the well of true water, and 
bring to me a drink to heal me." 

The daughter went, and she reached the well. A 
LosGANN (frog or toad) came up to ask her if she 
would wed him, if she should get a drink for her 
mother. " I wiU not wed thee, hideous creature ! on 
any account," said she. " Well then," said he, " thou 
shalt not get the water." 

She went away home, and her mother sent away 
her sister that was nearest to her, to seek a drink of 
the water. She reached the well ; and the toad came 
up and asked her " if she would marry him if she 
should get the water." " I wont marry thee, hideous 
creature r" said she. " Thou shalt not get the water, 
then," said he. 

She went home, and her sister that was youngest 
went to seek the water. When she reached the well 
the toad came up as he used, and asked her " if she 
would marry him if she should get the water." ** If 
I have no other way to get healing for my mother, I 


will marry thee," said she ; and she got the water, and 
she healed her mother. 

They had betaken themselves to rest in the night, 
when the toad came to the door saying : — 

'• A OHAOMHAO, A CHAOHHA0, " Gentle one, gentle one. 
An cuDfHNEACH LEAT Kememberest thou 

An gealladh beag The little pledge 
A THUG THU Aio Thou gavost me 

An tobab dhomh, Beside the well, 

A OHAOiL, A GHAOiL.'' My love, my love." 

When he was ceaselessly saying this, the girl rose 
and took him in, and put him behind the door, and 
she went to bed ; but she was not long laid down, 
when he began again saying, everlastingly : — 

*' A hàovaig, a hàovaig. 
An cuineach leat 
An geallug beag 
A hoog 00 aig 
An lobar gaw, 
A gèule, a gèule." 

Then she got up and she put him under a noggin ; 
that kept him quiet a while ; but she was not long 
laid down when he began again, saying :— 

" A hàovaig, a hàovaig. 
An cuineach leat 
An geallug beag 
A hoog 00 aig 
An tobar gaw, 
A gèule, a geule." 

She rose again, and she made him a little bed at 
the fireside ; but he was not pleased, and he began 
again saying, " A chaoimheag, a chaoimheag, an 
cuimhneach leat an gealladh beag a thug thu aig an 
tobar dhomh, a ghaoil, a ghaoil." Then she got up 


and made him a bed beside her own bed ; but lie was 
without ceasing, saying, " A chaoimheag, a chaoimheag, 
an cuimhneach leat an gealladh beag a thug a thug 
thu aig an tobar dhomh, a ghaoil, a ghaoil." But 
she took no notice of his complaining, till he said to 
her, " There is an old rusted glave behind thy bed, 
with which thou hadst better take off my head, than 
be holding me longer in torture." 

She took the glave and cut the head off him. 
When the steel touched him, he grew a handsome 
youth ; and he gave many thanks to the young wife, 
who had been the means of putting off him the spells, 
under which he had endured for a long time. Then 
he got his kingdom, for he was a king ; and he mar- 
ried the princess, and they were long alive and merry 



Bha banrigh ann roimhe so a bha tiim, agus bha triiiir nighean 
aice. Thnbbairt i ris an t^ *bu shine, ** Falbh do 'n tobar fluor-msg*, 
agus ihabhair do m' ionnsuidh deoch gu m' leigheas." Dh* fbalbh 
an nighean agus ràinig i 'n tobar. Thàìnig losgann a nios a dh** 
fharraid di am pòsadh i e na 'm faigheadh i deoch d^a màthair. 
*' Cha phbs mis' thu 'chreatair ghrànnda I air aon chur." ** Mata,'* 
ars' esan, '* cha 'n fhaigh tbn *n t-uisge." Dh* fhalbh i dhachaidh, 
agus cbuir a mkthair air £ftlbh a pinthar a b' f haisge dhi a dh' iarr- 
aidh deoch do 'n uisge. Bàinig i 'n tobar, agns thàinig an losgann 
a nios, agas dh' fharraid e dhi am pòsadh i e, na 'm faigheadh i 'n t- 
uisge. " Cha phòs mis' thu 'chreutair ghrànnd'," ars' ise. ** Cha 'n 
fhaigh thu 'n t-nisge mata," urs* esan. ThiU i dhachaidh, agns 
chaidh a piutbar a b' bige 'dh' iarraidh an nisge. An uair a ràinig 
i 'n tobar thàinig an losgann k lùos mar a b' àbhaist, agus dh' fharr- 
aid e dhi am pbsadh i e na 'm faigheadh i 'u t-uisge. " Mar am 
bheil sèol eil' agam air leigheas fhaotainn do m' mhàthair pòsaidh 
mi thu," ars' ise, agus fhuair i 'n t-uisge, agus shlànaicheadh a 


Bha lad an d^gh gabhail ma thamh 'san oidhche an nair a thàiuig 
an loegann do 'n dorns aig ràdh, '*A chaomhag, a chaomhag an cnimh- 
neach leat an gealladh beag a thug thu aig an tobar dhomh ? A 
ghaoil I a ghaoil! " An nair a bha egnn tkmh aig ràdh mar so, dh' 
Sridh an nighean agna thng i stigh e, agus chnir i ctil an doruis e, 
agua cbaidh i laidhe ; ach cha robh i fada 'na luidhe an uair a thòis- 
ich e rithis air a ràdh, a choidh. <* A chaomhag, a chaomhag an 
coimhneach leat an gealladh beag a thug thu aig an tobar dhomh ? 
A ghaoil I a ghaoil I " Dh' èirich 1 *n sin agus chuir i fo noigean e. 
Chum sin sàmhach e tacan ; ach cha robh i fada *na luidhe an uair a 
thòisich e rithis air a ràdh, '*A chaomhag, a chaomhag an cuimh- 
neach leat an gealladh beag a thug thu aig an tobar dhomh ? A 
ghaoil I a ghaoil I *' Dh' èirich i rithis agus rinn i leaba bheag dha 
taobh an teine ; ach cha robh e toUiehte. Co Inath agus a bha i 'na 
leaba thbisich e rithis air a ràdh, '* A chaoimheag, a chaoimheag 
nach coimhneach leat an gealladh beag a thug thu aig an 
tobar dhomh ? A ghaoil ! a ghaoil I " Dh' èirich i 'n sin 
agus rinn i leaba dha làmh ri *leaba fdin ; ach bha e gun tàmh aig 
rìkdh, ** A chaoimheag, a chaoimheag an cuimhneachleatan gealladh 
beag a thug thu aig an tobar dhomh ? A ghaoil I a ghaoil ! " Ach 
cha robh i 'tabhairt feairt air a ghearan gus an dubhairt e rithe, 
'* Tha seana chlaidheamh meirgeach ciil do leapa leis an fheàrra 
dhuit an ceann a thabhairt dhiom, na 'bhith *gam' chumail am p^in 
ni 's faide." Ghabh i 'n claidheamh agus gheàrr i *n ceann deth. An 
uair a bhoin an stàilinn da dh' thha e *na òganach dreachmhor, 
agus thug e iomadh buidheacbas do 'n ògbhean a bha 'na meadhon 
an drnidheachd, foidh an robh e re van.* fhad' a' f ulann, a chur dheth. 
Fhuair e 'n sin a rioghaehd, oir bu ligh e, agus pfabs e 'bhana* 
phrionnsa, agus bha iad €ada beò gu subhach còmhla. 

The lady who has been so kind as to write down this, and 
other stories, is one of my oldest friends. She has brought up a 
large family, and her excellent memory now enables her to remem- 
ber tales, which she has gathered daring a long life passed in the 
West Highlands, where her husband was a respected minister. 
The story is evidently a Celtic version of the Wearie Well at the 
Warldis End, of which Chambers has published one Scotch ver- 
sion, to which Grimm refers, in notes " Der Froschkonig," in his 
third volume. There are many versions still current in Scotland, 
told in broad Scots ; and it can be traced back to 1548. Ac- 
cording to Grimm, it belongs to the oldest in Germany. This 


version clearly belongs to the Gaelic language, for the speech of 
the frog is an imitation of the gurgling and quarking of spring 
frogs in a pond, which I have vainly endeavoured to convey to an 
English reader by English letters ; but which is absurdly like, 
when repeated in Gaelic with this intention. The persevering, 
obstinate repetition of the same sounds, is also exceedingly like 
the habit of frogs, when disturbed, but not much frightened. 
Let any one try the experiment of throwing a stone into the 
midst of a frog concert, and he will hear the songsters, after a 
moment of stillness, begin again. First a half-smothered ouask 
auA9K ; then another begins, half under water, with a gurgle, 
and then more and more join in till the pond is in full chorus once 
again. Guabk, quark, gooill-v^v^n/vx^ gk>oark G^ooILL.^^^^^,^.,^^ 

Holy healing wells are common all over the Highlands ; and 
people still leave offerings of pins and nails, and bits of rag, 
though few would confess it. There is a well in Islay where I 
myself have, after drinking, deposited copper caps amongst a 
hoard of pins and buttons, and similar gear, placed in chinks in 
the rocks and trees at the edge of the " Witches* Well." There is 
another well with similar offerings, freshly placed beside it in an 
island in Loch Maree, in Boss-shire ; and similar wells are to be 
found in many other places in Scotland. For example, I learn 
from Sutherland, that " a well in the black Isle of Cromarty, near 
Kosehaugh, has miraculous healing powers. A country woman 
tells me, that about forty years ago, she remembers it being sur- 
rounded by a crowd of people every first Tuesday in June, who 
bathed or drank of it before sunrise. Each patient tied a string 
or rag to one of the trees that overhung it before leaving. It was 

sovereign for headaches. Mr — remembers to have seen a 

well here called Mary's Well, hung round with votive rags." 

Well worship is mentioned by Martin. The custom in his 
day, in the Hebrides, was to walk south about round the well. 

Sir William Betham in his Gael and Cymbiri (Dublin : W. 
Curry jun. & Co., 1834), says at page 235, "The Celtae were 
much addicted to the worship of fountains and rivers as divinities. 
They had a deity called Divona, or the river god." 

Divona Celtarum lingua fons addite Divii ("Atisonius.J 

He quotes from *' The Book of Armagh, a MS. of the seventh cen- 
tury," — "And he (St. Patrick) came to J^ina ifa^e, which is called 



Slane, becanse it was intimated to bim tbat tbe Magi honoured 
this fountain^ and made donations to it as gifts to a god.*' For 
they sacrificed gifts to the fountain and worshipped it like a god. 
Tbe learned autbor explains bow wells are now venerated in 
Ireland, and traces tbeir worsbip back to remote ages ; and to 
the East, by way of Spain, Cartbage, and Egypt, Tyre and 
Sidon, Arabia, Gbaldea, and Persia, wbere men still bang bits of 
rag on trees near wells. Baal, according to some of tbe autbori- 
ties quoted, is mixed up witb tbe well worsbip of tbe Irisb Sceligs. 
Divona, tbe river god, or Baal, may therefore bave degenerated 
into a toad ; and tbe princess wbo married bim may once bave 
been a Celtic divinity, wbose story survives as a popular tale in 
Germany and in Scotland. 

Tbe following story bears on tbe same subject, and may 
explain why gifts were left wben a drink was taken from a 
well. Tbe story was told to me long ago, while seated under 
shelter of a big stone waiting for ducks on the shore. It was 
told in Gaelic, and tbe pun upon tbe name of tbe lake is lost in 
any other language. Tbe meaning of tbe name might be tbe 
weasel lake, or tbe lake of tbe fall ; or perhaps the lake of tbe 
island ; but the legend gives a meaning, which tbe sound of tbe 
name will bear, and it ought to be right if it is not. 


From Mr. Thomas MacDonald, now gamekeeper at Dunrobin. 

WHEKE Loch Ness now is, there was long ago a 
fine glen. A woman went one day to the well 
to fetch water, and she found the spring flowing so 
fast that she got frightened, and left her pitcher and 
ran for her life ; she never stopped till she got to the 
top of a high hill ; and when there, she turned about 
and saw the glen filled with water. Not a house or a 
field was to be seen. " Aha I" said she, " Tha Loch 
ann a nis." (Ha Loch an a neesh). There is a lake in 
it now ; and so the lake was called Loch Ness (neesh). 


From Alexander MacNeill, tenant and fisherman, Barra. 

THEEE was an old king before now in Erin,* and a 
sister of hiSy whose name was Maobh, had three 
sons. The eldest of them was Ferghns, the middle- 
most Lagh an Laidh, and the youngest one Conall. 

He thought he would make an heir of the eldest 
one, Ferghus. He gave him the schooling of the son 
of a king and a '' ridere," and when he was satisfied 
with school and learning he brought him home to the 
palace. Now they were in the palace. 

Said the king, '^ I have passed this year well ; the 
end of the year is coming now, and trouble and care 
are coming on me with it" 

" What trouble or care is coming on thee ?" said the 
young man. '^ The vassals of the country are coming 
to reckon with me to-day." " Thou hast no need to 
be in trouble. It is proclaimed that I am the young 
heir, and it is set down in papers and in letters in 
each end of the realuL I will build a fine castle in 
front of the palace for thee. I wiU get carpenters, and 
stonemasons, and smiths to build that castle." 

* In tliis tale Erin is spelt instead of Eirinn and Eireann ; 
Alba and Sassun, Scotland and Ungland, express the soand of 
the Gaelic words. 


" Is that thy thought, son of my sister ? " said the 
king. " Thou hadst neither claim nor right to the realm 
unless I myself had chosen to give it to thee with my 
own free ^ Thou wHt not see thyself handling 
Erin till I go first under the mould." 

" There wiU be a day of battle and combat before 
I let this go on," said the young man. 

He went away, and he sailed to Albeu A message 
was sent up to the king of Alba that the young king 
of Erin was come to Alba to see him. He was taken 
up on the deadly points.* Meat was set in the place for 
eating ; drink in the place for drinking ; and music in 
the place for hearing ; and they were plying the feast 
and the company. 

" Oh ! young king of Erin," said the king of Alba, 
" it was not without the beginning of some matter that 
thou art come to Alba." 

" I should not wish to let out the knowledge of my 
matter till I should first know whether I may get it." 

" Anything I have thou gettest it, for if I were 
seeking help, perhaps I would go to thee to get it" 

" There came a word with trouble between me and 
my mother's brother. It was proclaimed out that I 
was king of Erin ; and he said to me that I should 
have nothing to do with anything till a clod should 
first go on him. I wish to stand my right, and to get 
help from thee." 

" I will give thee that," said the king ; " three 
hundred swift heroes, three hundred brave heroes, 
three hundred full heroes ; and that is not bad 

" I am without a chief over them, and I am as ill 
ofiP as I was before ; but I have another small request, 
and if I might get it, I would wish to let it out" 

• Probably lifted on spears. 

CONALL. 1 39 

" Anything I have that I can part from, thou shalt 
get it," said the king ; " but the thing I have not, I 
cannot give it to thee. Let out thy speech, and thou 
shalt have it" 

" It is Boinne Breat, thy son, at their head." 

" My torture to thee ! had I not promised him to 
thee, thou hadst not got him. But there were not 
bom in Alba, nor in Erin, nor in Sassun, nor in any one 
place (those) who would gain victory over my son if 
they keep to fair play. If my son does not come back 
as he went, the word of an Eriannach is never again 
to be taken, for it is by treachery he wiU be overcome." 

They went away on the morrow, and they sailed to 
the king of Sassun. A message went up to the king 
of Sassun that the young king of Erin had come to 
the place. The king of Sassun took out to meet him. 
He was taken up on the deadly points ; music was 
raised, and lament laid down in the palace of the king 
of Sassun ; meat was set in the place for eating ; drink 
in the place for drinking ; music in the plaxie of hear- 
ing ; and they were plying the feast and the company 
with joy and pleasure of mind. 

" Oh ! young king of Erin," said the king of 
Sassun, " it is not without the end of a matter that 
thou art come here." 

" I got the schooling of the son of a king and a 
lidere. My mother's brother took me home. He began 
to speak about the vassals of the country and the 
people of the realm ; that care and trouble were on 
him ; and that he had rather the end of the year had 
not come at aU. Said I to him, ' I will build thee a 
palace, so that thou shalt have but to wash thy face, 
and stretch thy feet in thy shoes.' Said he, *My 
sister's son, thou hadst no right to the realm, and thou 
gettest it not tiU a clod goes on me, in spite of every- 


thing.' Said I, ' There will be a day of battle and 
combat between thee and me, before the matter is so.' 
I went away ; I took my ship ; I took a skipper with 
me ; and I sailed to Alba. I reached Alba, and I got 
three hundred swift heroes, three hundred brave heroes, 
and three hundred foil heroes ; now I am come to thee 
to see what help thou wilt give me." 

" I will give thee as many more, and a hero at their 
head," said the king of Sassun. 

They went away, and they sailed to Erin. They 
went on shore on a crag in Erin, and the name of 
Carrig Fhearghuis is on that rock stilL He reaxjhed 
the king. "Brother of my mother, art thou now 
ready?" — "Well, then, Fhearghuis, though I said 
that, I thought thou wouldst not take anger ; but I 
have not gathered my lot of people yet." — " That is no 
answer for me. Thou hast Erin under thy rule. I 
am here with my men, and I have neither place, nor 
meat, nor drink for them." 

" Oo ! " said the king, " the storehouses of Erin 
are open beneath thee, and I will go away and gather 
my people." 

He went away. He went all round Erin. He 
came to a place which they called " An t' lubhar " 
(Newry). There was but one man in the lubhar, who 
was called Goibhlean Grobha (Goivlan Smith). He 
thought to go in, for thirst was on him ; aad that he 
would quench his tMrst, and breathe a while. He went 
in. There was within but the smith's daughter. She 
brought him a chair in which he might sit. He asked 
for a drink. The smith's daughter did not know what 
she should do, for the smith had but one cow, which 
was called the Glas Ghoibhlean (Grey Goivlan), with 
the vessel he had for the milk of the cow ; three times 
in the day it would go beneath the cow ; three times 

CONALL. 141 

in the day thirst would be on him ; and he would 
diink the yessel each time, and unless the daughter 
had the vessel fiiU she was not to get off. She was afraid, 
when the king asked for a drink, that unless she had 
the vessel fall her head would be taken off. It was 
so that she thought the vessel should be set before the 
king at all hazards. She brought down the vessel, and 
she set it before him. He drank a draught ; he took 
out the fourth part, and he left three quarters in it. '^ I 
would rather you should take it out altogether than 
leave it My father has made an oath that unless I 
have the vessel fall, I have but to die." 

" Well, then," said the king, " it is a spell of my 
spells to leave the vessel as fall as it was before." 

He set the vessel on the board, he struck his pahn 
on it^ and he struck off as much as was above the milk, 
and the vessel was full ; and before he went away, the 
girl was his own. 

'' Now, thou art going, oh king of Erin, and I am 
shamed ; what wilt thou leave with me Ì " 

'^ I would give thee a thousand of each hue, a thou- 
sand of each kind, a thousand of each creature.'' 

" What should I do with that, for I will not find 
salt in Erin to salt them ? " 

'' I would give thee glens and high moors to feed 
them from year to year." 

"What should I do with that? for if Fearghus 
should kill you, he will take it from me, unless I have 
it with writing, and a drop of blood to bind it" 

" I am in haste this nighty but go to-morrow to 
the camp to Croc Maol Nam Muc," said the king ; and 
he left his blessing with her. 

Her feither came. 

" Far from thee — ^far from thee be it^ my daughter ! 
I think that a stranger has been to see thee here this day. " 


" How dost thou know that V* 

" Thou hadst a maiden's slow eyelash when I went 
out ; thou hast the brisk eyelash of a wife now." 

" Whom wouldst thou rather had been here ?" 

" I never saw the man I would rather be here than 
the king of Erin." 

" Well, it was he ; he left me a thousand of each 
hue, a thousand of each kind, a thousand of each 

" * What,' said I, *shaU I do with them, as I 
cannot get in Erin as much salt as will salt them V 

" Said he, * I would give thee glens and high moors 
to feed them from year to year.' 

" ' What shaU I do if Fearghus should kiU you ? I 
will not get them.' 

" He said, * I should have writing and a drop of 
his own blood to bind it.' " 

They slept that night as they were. If it was 
early that the day came, it was earlier that the smith 
arose. *' Come, daughter, and let us be going." She 
went, herself and the smith, and they reached the king 
in his camp. 

" Wert thou not in the lubhar yesterday ?" said the 
smith to the king, " I was ; and hast thou mind of thy 
words to the girl ?" 

" I have ; but the battle will not be till to-morrow. 
I will give thee, as I said, to the girl ; but leave her." 

The smith got that, and he went away. 

That night, when she had slept a while, she awoke, 
for she had seen a dream. " Art thou waking ?" 

"I am ; what wilt thou with me ? 1 saw a dream 
there : a shoot of fir growing from the heart of the 
king, one from my own heart, and they were twining 
about each other." " That is our babe son." They 
sleptj and it was not long till she saw the next dream. 

CONALL. 143 

" Art thou waking, king of Erin ]" "I am ; 
what wilt thou with me T " I saw another dream. 
Fearghus coming down, and taking the head and the 
neck out of me." 

" That is, Fearghus killing me, and taking out my 
head and neck." 

She slept again, and she saw another dream. 

" Art thou sleeping, king of Erin ?" 

" I am not j what wilt thou with me now ?" 

" I saw Erin, from side to side, and from end to 
end, covered with sheaves of barley and oats. There 
came a blast of wind from the east, from the west, 
from the north ; every tree was swept away, and no 
more of them were seen," 

'* Fearghus will kill me, and he will take the head 
and neck out of me. As quickly as ever thou didst 
(anything), seize my set of arms, and keep them. A 
baby boy is begotten between thee and me. Thou 
shalt suckle and nurse him, and thou shalt set him 
in order. Keep the arms. When thou seest that he 
has speech, and can help himself, thou shalt send him 
away through the world a wandering, till he find out 
who he is. He will get to be king over Erin ; his 
son will be king over Erin ; his grandson will be king 
over Erin. His race will be kings over Erin till it 
reaches the ninth knee. A child will be born from 
that one. A farmer will come in with a fish ; he will 
cook the fish ; a bone will stick in his throat, and he 
wiU be choked." 

Maobh, the king's sister, the mother of Fearghus, 
had two other sons, and the battle was to be on the 
morrow. Lagh an Laidh and Connal ; and Lagh an 
Laidh was the eldest 

"Whether," said Ijagh an Laidh, "shall we be 
with our mother's brother or with Fearghus ]" 


" I know not. If our mother's brother wins, and 
we are with Feaighus, it is a stone in our shoe for 
ever ; but if Fearghus wins, he wiU turn his back 
to us, because we were on the other sida" 

**• Well, then, it is not thus it ÌBhall be ; but be 
thou with Fearghus, and I will be witih our mother's 

''It shall not be so; we will leave it to our 

" Were I a man," said Maobh, " I would set the 
field with my own brother." 

" Well, then, I will be with Fearghus," said Lagh 
an Laidh, '' and be thou with Fearghus, oh Gonnal !" 

Fearghus went to Fionn ; he blessed him in calm, 
soft words. Fionn blessed him in better words ; and 
if no better, they were no worse. 

*' I heard that there was a day of battle and com- 
bat between thyself and thy mother's brother," said 

" That is to be, and I came to you for help." 

'' It is but bold for me to go against thy mother's 
brother, since it was on his land that I got my keep. 
If thy mother's brother should win, we shall get neither 
furrow nor clod of the land of Erin as long as we live. 
I will do thus. I will not strike a blow with thee, 
and I will not strike a blow against thee." 

Feairghus went home on the morrow, and they set 
in order for the battle. The king^s company was on 
one side, and the company of Fearghus on àie other. 
Fearghus had no Gaibgioh heroes but Boinne Breat and 
his company. The great Saxon hero and his company, 
and Lagh an Laidh. Boinne Breat drew out to the skirt 
of the company ; he put on his harness of battle and hard 
combat. He set his silken netted coat above his surety* 

* Cobb, the epithet applied to shirt, is a word which gives 

OONALL. 145 

fihìrt ; a booming shield on his left side ; how many 
deaths were in his tanned sheath ! 

He strode out on the stem steps like a sudden 
blaze; each pace he put fix>m him was less than a hill, 
and greater than a knoll on the mountain side. He turned 
on them, cloven and cringing. Three ranks would he 
drive of them, dashing them from their shields^ to 
their blood and their flesh in the skies.''^ Would he 
not leave one to tell the tale, or report bad news ; to 
put in a land of holes or a shelf of rock. There was 
one little one-eyed russet man, one-eyed, and on one 
knee and one handed. " Thou shalt not be to tell a 
tale of me ;" he went and he took his head off. Then 
Boinne Breat shunned the fight, and he took his 
armour off 

"Go down, Feaighus, and take off the head of 
thy mother^s brother, or I will take it off." 

Fearghus went down, he caught hold of his mother's 
brother, and he took his head off The smith's daugh- 
ter went to the arms, and she took them with her. 

Lagh an Laidh kept on his armour. When he saw 
Fearghus going to take off the head of his mother's 
brother, he took a fi&nzy, Lagh an Laidh went about 
the hill to try if he could see Boinne Breat, who was 
unarmed. Boinne Breat thought that man was drunk 
with battle. He thought that he would turn on the 
other side of the hill to try if he could come to his 
own place. Lagh an Laidh turned on the other side 
against him. He thought to turn again to try if the 
battle frenzy would abate. The third time he said he 

the meaning of greatness or excess ; and in corrarij means an 
iron weapon, or a sickle. *' A shirt of armour/' 

* This passage is common ; I am not certain that it is cor- 
rectly rendered. 



would not turn for all who were in Albuin, or Einnn, 
or SassiUL '* It is strange thou, man, that wert 
with me throughout the battle, to be against me f " I 
wiU not believe but that thou hast taken the drunken- 
ness of battle," said Boinne Breat. 

" I am quite beside myself." 

" Well, then," said he, " though I am unarmed, and 
thou under arms, remember that thou art no more to 
me than what I can hold between these two fingers." 

" I will not be a traitor to thee, there behind thee 
are three of the best heroes in Albuin, or Eirinn, or 

He gave a turn to see the three heroes, and when 
he turned Lagh an Laidh struck off his head. 

" My torture," said Fearghus, " I had rather my 
own head were there. An Eireannach is not to be 
taken at his word as long as a man shall live. It is a 
stone in thy shoe every day for ever, and a pinch of the 
land of Eirinn thou shalt not have." 

Lagh an Laidh went away and he went to the moun- 
tain. He made a castle for himself there, and he 
stayed in it 

The smith's daughter came on well till she bore a 
babe-son. She gave him the name of Conal Mac 
Eigh Eirinn. She nourished him well, and right well. 
When speech came and he could walk well, she took 
him with her on a wet misty day to the mountain 
amongst high moors and forests. She left him there 
astray to make out a way for himself, and she went 

He did not know in the world what he should do, 
as he did not know where to go, but he found a finger 
of a road. He followed the road. What should he 
see but a little hut at the evening of the day at the 
wayside. He went into the hut : there was no man 

^ip^Mr^^p^j»^^o»^«gj^^p^— 1 1 ■ . I mm 

CX)NALL. 147 

mthin : lie let himself down at the fiie-side. Theie 
he was till a woman came at the end of the night, and 
she had six sheep. She saw a great slip of a man be- 
side the file, who seemed to be a fool. She took great 
wonder when she saw him, and she said that he had 
better go out of that, and go down to the king^s honse, 
and that he would get something amongst the servants 
in the MtcheiL He said he would not go, but if she 
would give him something that he might eat, that he 
would go to herd the sheep for herself. What should 
be the name of the woman but Caomhaq Gentle. " If 
I thought that, I would give thee meat and drink," 
said sha On the morrow he went away with the 
sheep. *^ I have not a bite of grass for them," said she, 
" but a road ; and thou shalt keep them at the edge of 
the road, and thou shalt not let them off it." 

At the time of night he came home with them ; on 
the morrow he went away with the sheep. There 
were near to the place where he was with them three 
fields of wheat that belonged to three gentlemen. The 
sheep were wearing him out He went and he levelled 
the dyke, and he let them in from one to the other till 
they had eaten the three fields. On a day of days, the 
three gentlemen gathered. When they came, he had 
let the fields be eaten by the sheep. 

" Who art thou ? Thou hast eaten the fields Ì " 

" It was not I that ate them at all ; it was the 
sheep that ate them." 

" We will not be talking to him at all ; he is but 
a fooL We will reach Caomhag to see if the sheep are 

They reached Caomhag. They took her with them 
to the court This was the first court that Fearghus 
had made after he got the crown 

The kings had a heritage at that time. When 


they did not know how to split justice properly, the 
jn(^ment-seat would begin to kick, and the king's neck 
would take a twist when he did not do justice as he 

" I can make nothing of it," said the king, ^'but 
that they should have the tooth that did the damage." 

The judgment-seat began to kick, and the king's 
neck took a turn. " Come here one of you and loose 
me; try if you can do justice better than that" 
Though there were thousands within, none would go in 
the king's place. They would not give the king such 
bad respect, as that any one of them should go before 

" Is there a man that will loose me ? " 

" There is not, unless the herd of Caomhag himself 
will loose thee." 

Gaomhag's herd was set down. 

^' Loose for me, my little hero, and do justice as it 
should (be done), and let me out of this." 

" (Nor) right nor justice will I do before I get some- 
thing that I may eat." 

Then he got something which he ate. 

"What justice didst thou do thyself? " said he. 

" I did but (doom) the tooth that did the damage 
to be theirs." 

" What was in the way that thou didst not give 
death to Caomhag? This is what I would do : — 
Caomhag has six sheep, and though the six sheep were 
taken from her, they would not pay the gentlemen. 
Coamhag will have six lambs, the gentlemen shall have 
the six lambs, and she herself shall have the sheep to 

The turn went out of the king's neck. He went 
away, and they did not ask who he was, and he got no 

GONALL. 149 

There was another gentlemaii, and he had a horse, 
and he sent him to a smithy to he shod. The smith 
had a young son and a nurse under the child. What 
should it be but a fine day, and it was without that the 
horse was being shod, and she never saw a horse shod 
before ; and she went out to see the shoeing of the 
horse. She sat opposite to the horse, and he took the 
nail and the shoe, and he did not hit the hoof with the 
nail but he put it in the flesh, and the horse struck the 
child, and drove the cup of his head off They had 
but to go to justice again to the king, and the justice 
the king made for them was, that the leg should be 
taken off the horse. The judgment-seat begem to kick 
again, and the king's neck took a tvòst The herd of 
Caomhag was there, and they asked him to loose the 
king. He said that he would not do a thing till he 
should flrst get something to eat 

He got that. He went where the Mng was. 

" What law didst thou make Ì " 

" The leg to be taken off the horse." 

" That will not pay the smith. Send hither to me 
the groom that broke the horse, and the gentleman to 
whom he belongs. Send over here the smith and the 


The gentleman and the groom came. 

" Well then, my gentleman, didst thou make this 
groom break this horse as he should ? " 

The groom said that he had done that as well as he 
knew (how to do it). 

" "No more could be asked of thee. Well, smith, 
didst thou give an order to the nurse to stay within 
without coming out of her chamber ? " 

"I did not give it," said the smith, "but (she 
might do) as she chose herself." 

"My gentleman," said he, "since thou art best 


kept, I will put a third of the euug of the smith's son 
on thee, and another third on the smith himself, because 
he did not measure the nail before he put it to use, 
and another third on the nurse and the groom because 
she did not stay within in her chamber, and in case he 
left some word or other untaught to the horse." 

The gentleman went away and the smith; the 
judgment-seat stopped, and she had n't a kick ; the 
turn came out of the king's neck, and they let him go 
as usual 

Said the king — "K he has travelled over the 
universe and the world, there is a drop of king's bloed 
in that lad ; he could not split the law so well as that 
if it were not in him. Let the three best heroes I have 
go, and let them bring me his head.*' 

They went after him. He gave a glance from him 
and what should he see coming but they. They came 
where he was. " Where are you going ? " — " We are 
going to kill thyself. The king sent us to thee." 

" Well, then, that was but a word that came into 
his mouth, and it is not worth your while to kill me." 

" He is but a fool," said they. 

" Since he sent you to kill me, why don't you kill 

"Wilt thou thyself kiU thyself my Uttle hero ? " 
said thev. 

« How shaU I kiU myself ? " 

** Here's for thee a sword and strike it on thee 
about the neck, and cast the head off thyself," said 

He seized on the sword, and gave it a twirl in his 
fist " FaU to killing thyself my Httle hero." 

" Begone," said he, " and return home, and do not 
hide from the king that you did not kill me." 

" Well, then, give me the sword," said one of them. 


" I will not give it ; there are not in Erin as many 
as will take it from my fist," said he. 

They went and they returned home. As he was 
going hy himself, he said, " I was not bom without a 
mother, and I was not begotten without a father. I 
have no mind (of) ever coming to Erin, and I know 
that it was in Erin I was bom. I will not leave a 
house in which there is smoke or fire in Erin till I 
know who I (am)." 

He went to the lubhar. What was it but a fine 
warm day. Whom did he see but his mother washing. 
He was coming to a sort of understanding, so that he 
was thinking that it was his mother who was there. 
He went and he went behind her, and he put his hand 
on her breast. " Indeed," said he, " a foster son of thy 
light breast am I." She gave her head a toss. " Thy 
like of a tarlaid drudge, I never had as a son or a foster 
son." — "My left hand is behind thy head, and a 
sword in my right hand, and I will strike off thy head 
unless thou tell me who I am." — '* Still be thy hand, 
Conall, son of the king of Erin." 

" I knew myself I was that, and that there was 
a drop of the blood of a king's son in me ; but who 
kiUed my father ? " 

"Feaighus killed him; and a loss as great as 
thy father was slain on the same day — ^that was 
Boinne Breat, son of the king of Alba." 

" Who slew Boinne Breat Ì "— " It is a brother of 
Fearghus, whom they call Lagh an LaidL" 

" And where is that man dwelling ?" 

"He could not get a bit on the land of Erin 
when once he had slain Boinne Breat ; he went 
to the hills, and he made him a ^còs'^ in the 

* CbSf a hollow or cave ; bere a kind of dwelling scooped ont 
in the side of a hill. 


forest, amongst ' uille biaste,* monsters, and untamed 

" Who kept my father's arms ? "— " It is I." 

" Gro fetch them, and bring them hither to me." 
She brought fchem. 

He went and put the arms on him, and they became 
him as well as though they had been made for himself. 

^' I eat not a bit, and I drink not a draught, and I 
make no stop but this night, until I reach where that 
man is, wheresoever he may be." 

He passed that night where he was. In the morn- 
ing, on the morrow he went away ; he went on till 
there was black upon his soles and holes in his shoes. 
The white clouds of day were going, and the black 
clouds of night coming, and without his finding a place 
of staying or rest for him. There he saw a great wood. 
He made a " cos,*' in one of the trees above in which 
he might stay that night. In the morning, on the 
morrow he cast a glance from him. What should he 
see but the very uile hheist, whose like was never seen 
under the sun, stretched without clothing, without 
foot coverings, or head covering, hair and beard gone 
over him. He thought, though he should go down, 
that he could not do for him. He put an arrow in a 
** crois^^ and he " fired " at him. He struck him with 
it on the right fore-arm, and the one who was below 
gave a start " Move not a sinew of thy sinews, nor a 
vein of thy veins, nor a bit of thy flesh, nor a hair of 
thy locks, till thou promise to see me a king over Erin, 
or I will send down of slender oaken darts enough 
to sew thee to the earth." The uile bheist did 
not give him yielding for that He went and he fired 
again, and he struck him in the left fore-arm. " Did I 
not tell thee before, not to stir a vein of thy veins nor 
a bit of thy flesh, nor a hair of thy locks till thou 

CONALL. 153 

shouldst promise to see me king over Erin."—" Come 
down then, and I will see thyself or myself that before 
this time to morrow night." He came down. 

" If I had known that it was thy like of a drudge 
that should dictate thus to me, I would not do it for 
thee for anything ; but since I promised thee I will 
do it, and we will be going." 

They went to the palace of the king. They shouted 
Battle or Combat to be sent out, or else the head of 
Fearghus, or himself a captive. 

Battle and combat they should get, and not his 
head at all, and they could not get himself a captive. 

There were sent out four hundred swift heroes, four 
hundred ftdl heroes, and four hundred strong heroes. 

They began at them. The one could not put from 
the other^s hand as they were killed. 

They shouted battle or combat again, or else the 
head of Fearghus to be sent out, or himself a captive. 

" It is battle and combat thou shalt have, and not 
at all my head, and no more shalt thou get myself a 

There were sent out twelve hundred swift heroes, 
twelve hundred full heroes, and twelve hundred stout 

The one could not put from the other's hand as they 
killed of them. 

They shouted battle and combat, or else the head 
of Fearghus, or himself a captive. 

Battle and combat they should have, and not the 
head of Fearghus at all, nor himseK a captive. 

There were sent out four hundred score to them. 
The one could not put from the other as they killed. 

They shouted battle and combat 

*' Those who are without," said Fearghus, " are so 
hard (to please) that they will take but my head, and 


unless they get (it) they will kill all there are in Erin 
and myself after them. Take one of yon a head from 
one of those who were slain, and when Lagh an Laidh 
comes and asks my head, or myself a captive, give it to 
him, and he will tibink it is my head.'* 

The head was given to Lagh an Laidh, He went 
where Conall was with it. 

" What hast thou there Ì " said ConaE 

" The head of Fearghus." 

" That is not the head of Fearghus yet. I saw him 
a shorter (time) than thyself, but turn and bring hither 
to me the head of Fearghus," 

Lagh an Laidh returned. 

^^ Let another go to meet him in the king's stead, and 
say that it is his head he shaU get, not himself a captive. 

ThÌ3 one went to meet Lagh an Laidh. He seized 
him and took the head out of his neck. 

He reached ConalL "What hast thou there?" 
— *' The head of Fearghus." 

" That is not the head of Fearghus yet ; turn and 
bring to me the head of Fearghus." 

Lagh an Laidh returned. 

"The one who is without is so watchful, and the 
other is so blind, that there is no man in Erin but they 
will kill unless they get myself." 

"Where art thou going, Lagh an Laidh T' said 

' I am going to seek thy head, or thyself as a captive." 
It's my head thou shalt get, and not myself as 
a captive; but what kindness art thou giving thy 
brother Ì 

" The kindness that thou gavest thyself to me, I 
will give it to thee." 

He took the head out of his neck, and he took it 
with him. He came where Conall was. 

CON ALL. 155 

** What hast thou there?" — "The head of Fear- 
ghns."— " It is not"—" Truly it ia"— " Let me see it." 

He gave it to him. He drew it, aud he struck 
him with it, and he made two heads of the one. Then 
they began at each other. 

They would make a hog on the rock, and a rock on 
the bog. In the place where the least they would sink, 
they would sink to the knees, in the place where the 
most they would sink, they would sink to the eyes. 

Conall thought it would be ill for him to f«dl after 
he had got so near the matter. 

He drew his sword, and he threw the head off 
Lagh an LaidL 

" Now I am king over Erin, as I myself had a right 
to be." 

He took his mother and her father from the lubhar, 
and took them to the palace ; and his race were in it 
till the ninth knee. The last one was choked, as a babe, 
with a splinter of bone that went crosswise into his 
throat, and another tribe came in on Eibinn. 


Bha sean righ roimhe so ann an Eirinn agoB bha tritiir mac aig piuthar 
dha. fie 'm fear a bu shine dhiu Fearghns, am fear a bu mhiadhonaicbe 
Lagh an Làigh, *s am fear a V òige ConaU. Smaointich e gon dian- 
adh e oighre do 'n fhear a bu shine Fearghos. Thng e sgoil mhic 
righ agns ridire dha, agus nnr a bha e boidheach sgoil agus ionnsach- 
aidh thng e dhachaidh e do 'n phUleas. Bha end an so anns a* 
phaQeas. Urs* an righ, " Chnir mi seachad a' bhliadhna so go math. 
Tha ceann na bliadhna nis a' tighinn 's tha trioblaid agns chram a* 
tigh 'n orm leatha." " D^ 'n trioblaid na 'n chram a tha tigh 'n ort ?" 
nrs' am fear òg. " Tha tnath na duthcha tigh *n a chnnndas riom an 
dingh." ** Cha mig thn leas chram a bhi ort 'tha e air eubhach a 
mach gor misr' an t-oigh òg 's air a chur sios ann am paipeirean 's an 


litrichean anns gach oelffii de *n rioghachd. Togaidh mise cauteal 
bòidheach air bialthaobh a' phkileas dnit. Gheibh mi saoir agos 
clachairean agos goibfanean gos a' chaisteal sin a thogaiL" "An e sin 
amaointinn a th' agad a mhic mo pbeathar " an' an BIgh, ** cha robh 
oeart na coir agad air an riouhachd Ihaotainn mar an tograinn flùn 
a toirt dnit le m* thoil fhin. Cha 'n fhaic thusa laimhseachadh Eirinn 
agad gos an d' tMid mise an toiseach fo 'n ùir." <* Bidh latha blèdr 
agns batailt ann ma 'n lig mise sin air aghaidb,'* urs' am fear òg. 

Dh' fhalbh e agns shebl e go mig Alba. Ghaireadh brath a snas 
thun righ Alba gon robh righ bg Eirinn air tigh 'n go mig Alba g'a 
choimhead. Thngadh snas air bharraibh bas e. Chuireadh biadh 
an kit* a chaithidh, deoch an ait a h-61, agns oeòl an ait' èisdeachd. 
Bha end a' caitheadh na cairin agns na cnideachd. 

''Ai^h òg Eirinn," ursa righ Alba, *' cha n' ann gon cheann 
gnothaich a tbkinig thnsa go mig Alba.'* " Cha bumhath learn fios 
mo ghnothaich a ligeil a mach gos am biodh fhios'am am faighinn an 
toiseach e." ** Dad 's am biih a th' agamsa gheibh thns* e, chionn 
na'm bithinn aig iarraidh cuideachaidh cha Inghaide gon rachainn a 
t* ionnsnidh-fl^ airson f haotainn." " Facal a thàinig ann an doilgheas 
eadar mis' agns brath 'r mo mhàthar." ** Bha e air enbhach a mach go 
*m bu mhi righ Eirinn; 's thuirt e riam nach biodh gnothach agam ri 
ni gos an rachadh plochd airsan an toiseach. Tha toil agam mo 
choir a sheasamh agns cnideachadh fhaotainn naitse." ** Bheir mise 
sin dnit," ars' an Righ, " tri chiad Ibgh ghaisgeach, tri chiad trenn- 
ghoisgeach, agns tri chiad lànghabgeach, 's cha don' an cnideachadh 
sin." ** Tha mise gon cheannard as an cionn, 's tha mi cho dona 's a 
bha mi roimhid; ach tha iarrtas beageil' agam, agusna "m faighinn e 
bhithinn deònach air a ligeil a mach." " Rud sam bith a th' agamsa," 
ars' an Righ, *' 's is urra mi dealachadh ris gheibh thn e, ach rad 
nach 'eil agam cha n' urra mi 'thoirt dnit ; ach lig amach do chainnt 's 
gheibh thn e." ** 'Se sin Boinne Breat do mbac air ann oeann." " Mo 
ghonadh dhnit, na 'm bithinn gon a ghealltainn dnit cha n' fhaigheadli 
thn e ; ach cha do ragadh an Albainn, na 'n Eirinn, na'n Sasnnn, na 
'n aon kite na gheibheadh bnaidh air mo mhacsa, ach fantainn aig 
ceartas ; mar an d' thig mo mhacs' air ais mar a dh' fhalbh e cha 'n 
'eil facal Eireannaich ri ghabhail tnillidh, chionn 's ann am foill 
a thigt' air." 

Dh' fhalbh end an la 'r na mhkireach 's sheòl end 'ionnsnidh righ 
Shasuinn. Chaidh brath snas go righ Shasuinn gon robh righ bg 
Eirinn an d^igh tigh *n do 'n kite. Ghabh righ Shasuinn 'na chomh- 
dhail 's thngadh snas air bharraibh bas e. Thogadh ceòl 's leagadh 
bron ann am pkileas righ Shasuinn. Chuireadh biadh an kit' a chaith- 

GONALL. 157 

eadh, deoch an Ut' a h^l, agns oebl an ait* èisdeachd. Bha end a* 
caitheadh na euirm 's na coideachd le ai^hear *b le tojlinntinn. 

** A righ òg Eirinn," uisa righ Shaaninn, " cha n* anngon cheann 
gnothaich a ihàimg Urn 'n so." ** Fhnair mise sgoil mhic righ agas 
ridire. Thug brath 'r mo mhhthar dachaidh mi Th^isich e air 
hmidhiim mo thnath na dnthcha 'a mo mhuinntir na rioghachd, gon 
robh caram agns trioblaid air, 's gom b* fhearr Ids nach d' tbàinìg 
ceann nh bliadhn' idir. Ursa mise ris togaidh mise paileas duit, air 
alt 's uach bi agad ach t* aodann a nigheadb 's do chasan a shineadh 
ann a*d* bhr^^. Urs* esan, **A mhic mo pheathar cha robh coir agad 
air an rioghachd, 's cha 'n fhaigh thn i, gos an d' theid plochd ormsa, 
aona choid a dheoin na dh' aindeoin." Ursa mi ria^ " fiidh latha bUdr 
agns batailt eadar mis' agn^ thnsa ma 'm bi chilis mar sin." Dh' 
fhalbh mi, ghabh mi go long, thug mi leam sgioba, agus sheòl mi go 
mig Alba. Bhinig mi Alba, *8 flmair mi tri chiad Ihghghaisgeadi, 
tri chiad trennghaisgeach, agns tri chiad Iknghaisgeacb. l^is thàinig 
mi 't *ionnsmdhsa fiach de 'n cnideachadh a bheir thn dhomh.'' ** Bheir 
mise dhnit urad eile agus gaisgeach air an ceann," ursa Righ 

Dh' fhalbh end agns shebl end go Eirion. Chaidh eud air ùr sag 
Garraig an £irinn *s tha Carraig Fhearghuis mar ainn air a' charraig 
sin fhathasd. Rhinig e 'n righ. '*A bhrath 'r mo mhàthar a' bheil thn 
nis deas." ** Mata Fhearghuis gad a thuirt mise siud shaoil mi oach 
gabhadh thn cormich ; ach tha mise gon mo chuid sluaigh achruinn- 
eacbadh fhathasd." ** Cha fhreagair sin dorohsa, tha Eirinn agadsa 
fod' smachd, tha mise *n so le m' dhaoine 's cha 'n 'eil hite, na biadh, 
na deoch agam dhaibh." <* U ! " urs' an righ, <* Fhearguis tha taighean 
taisg Eirinn fosgailte fodhad, agus faibhaidh mise *8 cruinnichidh mi 
mo chuid sinaigh. 

Dh' fhalbh an righ, chaidh ma "n cuairt Eirinn. Thàinig e go 
Idte ris an canadh end an t-Iubhar. Cha robh ach aon duine 'san 
lubhar ris an canadh eud Goibhiean Gobha. Smaointich e gabhail a 
stigh 's am pathadh air, 's gon caisgeadh e phathadh 's gon ligeadh e 
treis analach. Ghabh e stigh. Cha robh stigh ach nigbean a* ghobha. 
Thug i a 'ionnsuidh cathair air an suidheadh e. Dh' iarr e deoch. 
Cha robh fios aig nighean a' ghobha d^ dhianadh i. Cha robh aig a' 
ghobh ach an aon mhart ris an abradh end a' Ghlas Ghoibhiean. 
Leis a' chòm a bh' aige ri bainne na bh, 's tri uairean 's an latha a 
rachte fo 'n mhart. Tri uairean 'san latha bhiodh pathadh airsan, 's 
dh' òladh e 'n com air a h-uile siubhal. Mar am biodh an corn Ian aig 
a nigbinn cha robh ri dol as a chionn aice. Bha eagal urra, nur a dh' 
iarr an righ deoch, mur am biodh an corn Ikn aice gom biodh an ceann 


air a thoirt dith. 'de smaointich i gom bn choir an com a chur sat 
bialthaobh an rigb codhiu. Thug i nuas an com 'a choir i air a 
bhialthaobh e. Dh' ò\ e deoch, 'a thug e 'n ceathramh cuid aa, 'a dh' 
fhag e tri earrannan ann. *' B' fhearr learn aibh a 'thoirt aa go 1^ na 
fliàgail. Thug m' athair mionnan mar am bi 'n corn Ian nach eil 
agam ri dol go chionn." *' Mata," ara' an righ, ** 'a geaa de m' gheaaana' 
an com fhàgail cho Ian *aa bha e roimhid/' Chuir e 'n com air a' 
' bhord' bhuail e bhaa air, 'a chuir e dheth na bha aa cionn a' bhainne, 'a 
bha 'n com Ian. Man d' fhalbh an righ fhuair e 'n nighean da fhin. 
" Tha thu falbh a righ Eirinn 'a miae an deigh mo mhaalachaidh ; àè 
tha thu f àgail agam?" ** Bheireamaa ain duit mU' aa gach dath, mil' aa 
gach aebraa, mil' aa gach creutair." '< D4 ni miae deth ain, 'a nach 
fhaigh mi 'ahalann an Eirinn na ahaiUeaa ain ?'* " Bheiream dhuit 
glinn a'a monaidh a bheathaicheaa eud o bhiiadhna go bliadhna." ** D4 
ni miae dheth ain ? ma mharbhaa Fearghua aibhse 'mkireach bheir e 
uam e, o 'n nach robh e agam le agriobhadh agua boinne fala 'ga 
cheanghal.** ** Tha orma' a nochd cabhag, ach theirig am màireach do 
'n champ go Cnocmaol nam Muc," ara' an righ, agua dh' fhàg e beann- 
achd aice. Thkinig a h-athair. ** Bhuaia e, bhuaia e nighean, ** Cha 'n 
'eil dhil' am fhin nach robh arbhalach ga d' choimhead an ao an 
diagh." ** C^mur a tha thu 'g aithneachadh ain?" " Bha raag maull 
maighdinn agad nur a chaidh mi mach; tha rasg briag mnà agad an 
dràsd." " Co b' fhearr leat a bhi ann ?" *' Cha 'n fhaca mi duine riabh 
a b' fhearr leam a bhi ana na righ Eirinn." *' Mata 'a e bh' ann. 
Dh' fhkg e agam mil' aa gach dath, mil' aa gach aebraa, mil' aa gach 
creutair. De, uraa miae, ni miae dhiu, 'a nach fhaigh mi de ahalann 
an Eirinn na ahaUIeaa eud ? Ura' eaan, '* Bheiream duit glinn agua 
monaidhean a bheathaicheaa eud o bhiiadhna go bliadhna." De ni mi 
ma mharbhaa Fearghua aibhae, cha 'n fhaigh mi ain? Thuirt e rium 
gom faighinn sgiiobhadh 'a boinne da fhuil fhin 'ga cheanghal." 

Chaidil eud an oidhche ain mar a bha eud. Ma bu mhoch a thainig 
an latha bu mhoiche na ain a dh' ^irìdh an gobha. *' Thalia 'nighean, 
bitheamaid a' falbh." Dh' fhalbh i fhin 'a an gobha 'a ràmig eud an 
righ anna a' champ. '< Nach robh thu anna an lubhar an d^ ?" ura' an 
gobha ria an righ. ** Bha." ** Bheil cuimhn' agad air do bhriathran 
ria an nighinn ao. ^ Tha, ach eha bhi 'm blar ann ^oa am màireach, 
bheir mi dhuit mar a thuirt mi ria an nighinn ach go fag thu iae." 
Fhuair an gobha aiud agua dh' fhalbh e. 

An oidhche ain, Nur a bha iae treia na cadal, dhhiag i, 'a i 'n 
dèlgh aislig fhaicinn. «* A' bheil thu 'd' dhhagadh ? " " Tha, d^ do 
ghnothach domh ? " ** Chunnaic mi aialig an aiud, gathar giubhaia 
a' fka a cridh' an righ, fear a m' chridhe fhin, 'a eud a' anaomadh 'na 

OONALL. 159 

ch^ile. ** Sin leanabh mic an d^gh a ghineach eadar thus' a's mis' 
a nochd." Ghaidil end an uair sin, 's cha V fhada chaidil end gos am 
fac i'n ath aislig. <*A bbeil thu 'd' dhtisgadh a righ Eirinn? " 
" Tha, à.4 do ghnothach domh ? " « Chmmaic mi aislig eile, Fearghus 
a' tigh 'n a ntias *8a toirt a* chinn *s na amhuich agam fhin asam.*' 
" Sin Fearghus gam mharbhadhsa 'sa toirt a' chinn 's na amhtdch 
asam." Chaidil i lis agus chunnaic i aislig eile. '* A bheil thu 'd* 
chadal a righ Eirinn?" ''Cha 'n *eil, d^ do ghnothach domh an 
drasd ? " ** Chunnaic mi Eirinn, o thaobh go taobh agus o cheann 
go ceann, air a chomhdach le sguaban eòm' agus coirce ; thàinig oiteag 
shoirbheis *n ear, o 'n iar, o 'n tuath ; sguabadh air falbh a h-uile 
craobh, 's cha 'n fhacas gin riabh tuillidh dhiu." ^Marbhaidh 
Fearghus mise 's bheir e 'n ceann 's an amhach asam ; co luath 's 
a rinn thusa riabh heir air mo chuid arm, agus gl^idh eud. Tha 
leanabh mic air a ghineach eadar mis' a's thusa. Bheir thu doch 
as altram da, 's cuiridh thu 'n òrdugh e. GMidh na h-airm. Nur 
a chi thu gom bi cainnt as comhnadal aige cuiridh tu air falbh e, 
feadh an t-saoghail, air seachran, gos am faigh e mach co e fhin. 
Gheibh esan 'na righ air Eirinn, bidh a mhac *na righ air Eirinn, 
bidh otha 'na righ air Eirinn, bidh a shliochd na 'n righrean air 
Eirinn, gos an ruig an naoidheamh glhn. Bidh leanabh air a bhreith 
do'n fhear sin, thig tuathanach a stigh le iasg, bruichidh e 'n t-iasg, 
'a th^id cnMmh 'na amhuich, 's tachdar e." 

Bha dithisd mac eil' aig Maobh (Piuthar an righ, màthair Fhear- 
ghnis) 's bha 'm blkr ri bhi ann a màireach, Lagh an làidh agus 
GonaU, agus 'se Lagh an làidh a bu shine. ** Co dhiu," ursa Lagh an 
làidh, a bhios sinn le brath 'r ar mkthar na le Fearghus ? " ** Cha 'n 
'eil fhios 'am ; ma bhuidhneas Bràthair air ar màthar agus gom bi 
sinn le Fearghus, 's clach 'nar bròig go brath 'ch e ; ach ma bhuidh- 
neas Fearghus cuiridh e chl ruinn, 'n a bha sinn air an taobh eiie." 
" Mata cha 'n ann mar sin a bhitheas, ach bi thusa le Fearghus, 's 
bidh mise le bràthair ar màthar." ** Cha 'n ann mur sin a bhitheas, 
ligidh sinn g' ar màthair e." ''Na 'm bithinnsa 'm fhirionnach," 
ursa Maobh, " bhithinn a' cur a bhlàir le m bhràthaìr fhin." ** Mata 
bidh mis' aig Fearghus," ursa Lagh an làidh, 's bi thus' aig Fearghus 
a ChonaUl." 

Dh' fhalbh Fearghus 'ionnsuidh Ffainn, 's bheannaich e dha ann 
am briathran ciuine, mine. Bheannaich Fionn da ann am briathran 
a b' fheàrr ; mur am b' eud a b' fhelur cha b' eud a bu mhiosa. 
'* Chuala mi gon robh latha blkir agus batailt eadar thu fhin agus 
bràthair do mhàthar," ars' esan. ** Tha sinn ri bhi ann 's thainig 
mi 'ur ionnsuidbsa airson cuideachaidh." *' Cha 'n 'eil e ach dàna 


domhsa dol an aghaidh bhràthair do mhàthar, 's gur ann air fhearann 
a fhuair mi mo chumail ; ma bhuidbneas bràthair do mhàthar cha 'n 
fhaigh sinn sgriob na plochd de dh' fhearann Eirinn a neas 'a is beò 
sinn. 'S e 80 a ni mi, cha bhoail mibuille leat, 's chabhoail mi buille 
V aghaidh." 

Chaidh Fearghus dachaidh an la 'r na mhàireach. Chair end an 
òrdugh airson a' bhlàir. Bha cnideachd an righ air an darna taobh 
*s cnideachd Fhearghuis air an taobh eile. Cha robh 'ghaisgich aig 
Fearghus ach Boinne Breat 'sa chuideachd, an gàisgeach mòr Sasnnn- 
ach 's a chnideachd, agns Lagh an làìdh. 

Tharminn Boinne Breat a mach an iomall na cnideachd. Chaidh 
e na chnlaidh chaih agns chmaidh-chomhrag. Chair e 'chòtan sròl 
sàoda air uachdar a chorr-MinC) sgiath bhncaideach air a thaobh cli, 
gom bn lianar oideadhar 's an tniaill chairtidh. Theann e mach air 
na ceumannan moiteil mur Bhoillsgeadh. Gach ceom a chaireadb e 
uaidhC) bn lugh' e na beinn, 'a bn mhoth' e na meall-chnoc aMibhe. 
Thionndàidh e riatha go giogach, gagach; tri dithean gon caireadh e 
dhia ; gan cailceadh o 'n agiathan g'am fail agus g'am feoil, anns ann 
iarmailt ; nach fhàgadh e fear innsidh sgeoil na chaitheadh taairisgeil, 
a char an talamh toll, na 'n sgeilpidh chreag. Bha aon fhear beag, 
cam, ruadh ann, air leith shtdl 's air leith ghltin 'a air leith Ikimh. 
** Cha bhi thns' ann a dh' innseadh sgeoil ormsa." Dh' fhalbh e 'a thug 
e 'n ceann deth. Dh' bb Boinne Breat 'a chair e dheth airm. " Falbh 
sios Fhearghuis 'a thoir an ceann de bhràthair do mhàthar no bheir 
mise deth e." Chaidh Fearghus sios, rug e air bràthair a mhàthar 's 
thug e 'n ceann deth. Thug nighean a' ghobha thun nan arm 's thug 
i leath' end. Chum Lagh an làidh air a chuid armaibh, nur a 
chunnaic e Fearghus a' dol a thoirt a' chinn de bhrkthair a mhàtfaar. 
Ghabh e feirg. Chaidh Lagh an Ikidh ma 'n cnairt a chnuic fiach 
am faiceadh e Boinne Breat 's e gon armaibh. Smaointich Boinne 
Breat gor misg chath a ghabh an duin' ud. Smaointich e gon 
tilleadh e air an taobh eile de 'n chnoc fiach an d' thigeadh e 
go kite fhin. Thiondaidh Lagh an làidh air an taobh eile 
*na aghaidh. Smaointich e tilleadh a i^ fiach an traoigheadh e 'mhire- 
'chatha. An treas uair thuirt e nach tilleadh e airson na bha 'n 
Albainn, na 'n Eirinn, na 'n Sasann. ** 'S neònach, fhir a bha leam 
fad an lath', thu bhi 'm' aghaidh." Cha chreid mi nach misg chath a 
ghabh thu thugad I " ** Direach as an aodann a tha mL" ** Mata," 
urs' esan, '* gad a tha mise gon armaibh, agus thusa fo armaibh, 
cuimhnicb nach moth' orm thu agus na chumas mi eadar an da mhiar 
sin." " Cha 'n 'eil mi ri bhi 'm brath foille dhuit ; sin air do chùl an 
trinir ghaisgeach is fhearr an Albainn, na 'n Eirinn, na'n Sasunn." 

CONALL. 1 6 1 

Thug e tionndadh air a dh' fhaicimi nan tnoir ghaisgeach, agos nur 
a thionndaidh e thug Lagh an lòiàh an ceann deth. <* Mo gbonadh," 
ursa Fearghos, ** b' fhearr learn mo cheann fhin a bhi ann. Cha 'n*eil 
Eireannach ri ghabhail air fbacal a neas is beò doine taillidh. *S 
clach a'd' bbròig e h-uile latha go bràthach, agus greim de dh' fhear- 
ann Eirinn cha 'n fhaigh thu.^' 

Dh' fhalbh Lagh an làidh agus chaidh e 'n bheinn. Rinn e caist- 
eal da fhin ann agus dh' fhan e ann. Bha nighean a' ghobha dgh 'n 
air a h-aghaidh go math gos an d' rag i leanabh mic. Thug i Conall 
mac righ Eirinn mar cuinn air. Bheatbaich i go math 's go ro mhath 
e. Nur thidnig càinnt a's coiseachd go math dha thug i leath' e, 
latha bog, ceòthar, do 'n bheinn feàdh monaidh agus coille. Dh' fhkg 
i 'n siud e air seachran, go bhi dianadh an rathaid' dha fhin, agus 
chaidh ise dacbaidh. 

Cha robh fios aig air an t-saoghal de dhianadh e, gon fhios aige 
c'a 'n rachadh e, ach fhuair e miar de rathad mòr, 's lean e 'n rathad. 
D4 chunnaic e ach bothan beag, feasgar de latha, taobh an rathaid 
mhòir. Ghabh e stigh do 'n bhothan. Cha robh duine stigh ann. 
Lig e e fhin, ri taobh an teine, sios, gon bhiadh gon deoch. Bha e 'n 
sin gos an d' thkinig boireaunach dachaidh an deireadh na h-oidhche 
agus sia caoraich aice. Chunnaic i stiall mhbr duine taobh an teine 
cosail ri bhi 'na amadan. Ghabh i ionghantas mbr nur a chunnaic i 
e, 's thuirt i ris, gom b' fhearra dha falbh e siud agus dol sios go tigh 
an righ, 's gom faigheadh e rud a miosg nan gillean anns a' chidsinn. 
Thuirt e nach rachadh, ach na 'n di thngadh i dha rud a dh' itheadh 
6, gom biodh e falbh a bbuachailleachd nan caorach air a son fhin. 
D^n t-ainm a bh' air a bboireannach ach Caomhag. '* K' an saoilinn 
sinn gheibheadh thu biadh a's deoch," ars' ise. 

An la 'r na mhaireach dh' fhalbh e leis na caoraich. '* Cha 'n 'eil 
greim feoir agamsa dhaibh," urs' ise, " ach rathad mòr, 's cumaidh tu 
eud air iomall an rathaid mhbir, 's cha lig thu dfaeth eud." An am 
na h-oidhche thàinig e dacbaidh leo. An la 'r na mhaireach dh' 
fhalbh e leis na caoraich. Bha, dliith air an kite 'n robh e leo, tri 
pàircean cruinueachd a bheanadh do thri daoin' uaisle. Bha na 
caoraich ga shkrachadh; dh' fhalbh e 's leag e 'n gàrradh, 's 
lig e stigh eud o the go t^, gos an d' ith end na tri pkircean. 
Latha de na Iluthean chruinnich na tri daoin' uaisle. Nor a thàinig 
eud bha esan an d^igh na pkircean a liguil itheadh leis na caoraich. 
'< Ciod thuige dh' ith thu na pkircean." ** Cha mhis' a dh' ith eud idir, 
's ann a dh' ith na caoraich end." " Cha bhi sinn a' bruidhinn ris idir, 
cha 'n 'eil ann ach amadan, ruige sinn Caomhag fiach an leathaise 
na caoraich." Bainig end Caomhag. Thug eud leo 'ionnsuidh na 


Uirt i. B'i so a* chiad chuirt do Fhearghus a dhiànadh an d^igh dha 
'n crtm fhaotainn. 

Bha f kgail aig na righrean 'san am ud. Nur nach V aithne 
dhaibh an ceartas a sgoltadh dòigheil thbiseacbadh cathair a' bhreath- 
anais air breabadaich, 's rachadh car an ambnich an rigb nur nach 
dianadh e ceartas mur bu choir dha. 

*' Cha'n urra misedad a dhianadh," nrs' an righ, ** ach an fhiacaill 
a rinn an sgath i bhi aca." Thoisich cathair a* bhreathanias ri breab- 
adaich, 's chaidh car an amhuich an righ. " Thigeadh fear agaibh an 
so agus fnasglaibh orm, fiach an dian sibh an ceartas na 's fhearr na 
siud." Gad a bhiodh milteaii a stigh cha rachadh gin an ait' an righ, 
cha rachadh eud a thoirt do dhroch mhios air an righ gon rachadh 
gin diu air a bhialthaobh. " A biieil dain* a dh' fhuasglas orm ?" ** Cha 
n 'oil mar am faasgail buachaille Chaomhaig f bin ort.'* Chuireadb 
SÌ0S buachaille Chaomhaig. '* Fuasgail orm a laochain, 's dian an 
ceartas mur is coir, 's lig a so mi." ^''Ceartas na coir cha dian mise gos 
am faigh mi 'n toiseach rud a dh' itheas mi." Fhuair e 'n sin rud a dh' 
ith e. ** De 'n ceartas a rinn thu fhin ?" ars* esan. " Cha d' rinn mis' 
ach an fhiacaill a rinn an sgath a bhi aca." ** Ciod thuige nach d' thug 
thu 'm has do Chaomhaig ? So mur a dhianainnsa. Tha sia caor- 
aich aig Caomhaip;, 's gad a bheirte uaithe na sia caoraich cha phaigh- 
eadh end na daoin' naisle. Bidh sia uain aig Caomhaig, 's gheibh na 
daoin' uaisle na sia uain' 's bidh na caoraich aice fhin a' cumail." Dh' 
fbalbh an car a amhuich an righ. Dh' fhalbh esan, 's cha d' fhoigh- 
neachd eud co e, 's cha d' fhuair e sgath. 

Bha duin' uasal eil' ann, 's bha each aige, 's chuir e thun ceard- 
ach e gos a bhi air a chrtiidheadh. Bha mac òg aig a' ghobha, 's ban- 
altrum fo 'n leanabh. D^ bh' ann ach latha briagh, 's is ann a mach a 
bha 'n t-each 'ga chrtiidheadh, 's cha 'n fhac is' each ga chrtiidheadh 
riabh, 's chaidh i mach a dh^ fhaicinn crhidheadh an eich. Shuidh i 
ma choinnimh an eich, 's thug esan an tairg 'sa chruidh, 's cha d' 
amais e 'n crodhan leis an tairg ach chuir e 'san fheoil i, agus bhuail 
an t-each an leanabh, 's chuir e copan a' chinn deth. 

Cha robh ac' ach dol go ceartas a rithisd than an righ. 'Se 'n 
ceartas a rinn an righ dhaibh a' chas a thoirt bhar an eich. Thoisich 
cathair a bhreathanais air breabadaich, 's chaidh car an amhuich an 
righ. Bha buachaille Chaomhaig a làthair. Dh' iarr eud air fuasgladh 
air an righ. Thuirt e nach dianadh e sgath gos am faigheadh e md 
ri itheadh an toiseach. Fhuair e siud. Chaidh e far an robh 'n righ. 
** De 'n lagh a rinn thu? " " A chas a thoirt bhar an eich." ** Cha 
phàigh sin an gobba." ** Cuiribh thugams' an groom a dh' ionnsaich 
an- teach, agus an duin' uasal da 'm bean e." Chuireadh a naull an 


CONALL. 163 

SO an gobha agus a' bhanaltmin. Thàinig an duin' nasal 's an groom. 
*' Seadh a dhuin' nasail, an d' thug thus* air a' gkroom an t-each so 
ionnsachadh mur a bu choir dha ? " Thuirt an groom gon d' rlnn e 
siudcho math 's a b' aithne dha. ** Cha b' urrainnear tuillidh iarraidh 
ort." Seadh a ghobha an d' thug thus' ordugh do d' bhanaltmm fant- 
ainn a stigh, gon tigh 'n amach a a seombar ? " " Cha d' thug," urs* 
an gobha, ** ach mnr a thogradh i fhin." " A dhuin' uasail," ars' 
esan, " 'n is tusa 's fhearr cumail, cuiridh mise trian ort de dh' èirig 
mhic a* ghobha, agns trian eil' air a' ghobha fhin, o 'n nach do 
thomhais e 'n tairg ma 'n do chuir e go feum i ; agus trian eil' air a 
bhanaltrum 's air a ghroom; 'n nach d' fhan m' a stigh na seombar ; 
's gon fhios nach d' fhkg escm facal air choraigin gon ionnsachadh 
do 'n each." Dh' fhalbh an duin' uasal agus an gobha; agus stad 
cathair a' bhreathanais, 's cha robh car aice; thkinig an car e 
amhuich an righ; 's lig end esan air falbh mur a b' àbhaist. 

Urs' an righ, ** ma shiubhail e 'n domhan agus an saoghal tba 
boinne dh' fhuil mhic righ anus a ghiir ud. Cha b' urrainn e 'n 
lagh a sgoltadh cho math an siud mar am biodh e ann ; falbhadh na 
tri ghaisgich is fhearr a th* agam agus thugadh end a'm' ionnsnidh a 
cheann." Dh' fhalbh end as a dhèigh. Thug e suil uaidhe, 's de 
chnnnaic e a' tighinn ach end. Thàinig eud far an robh e. ** C'a' bheil 
sibh a dol?" <'Tha sinn a' dol ad' mharbhadh fhin ; chuir an righ gad' 
ionnsuidh sinn." ** Mata cha 'n 'eil an sin ach rud a thàinìg 'na bhial, 
*8 cha mig sibh a leas mo mharbhadh.** *' Cha 'n 'eil ann ach amadan," 
ars* eudsan. ^' O 'n a chuir esan sibhse gum' mharbhadh, nach marbh 
sibh mi?" ''Am marbh thu fhin thn fhin a laochain ?" ars* iadsan. "D^ 
mur a mharbhas mi mi fhin?" '* So dhuit claidheamh agus buail mu 'n 
amhuich ort e, *s tilg an ceann diot fhin," ars' iadsan. Rug e air a* 
chlaidheamh ; chuir e car deth 'na dhorn. '* Siud a laochain air thu 
fhin a mharbhadh." ** Falbhaibh," ars' esan, " agus tillibh dachaidb, 's 
na ceilibh air an righ nach do mharbh sibh mise." ''Mata thoir dhomh 
an claidheamh,*' ursa fear din. "Cha d* thoir. Cha 'n 'eil an Eirinn 
na bheir as mo dhorn e," ars* esan. Dh' fhalbh eud agus thill eud 

Air dha bhi falbh leis fhin thuirt e, " Cha do rugadh mi gon 
mhàthair, *s cha do ghineadh mi gon atbair. Cha chuimboe learn 
tigh 'n do dh* Eirinn riabh, agus tha fios agam gur h-ann an Eirinn 
a rngadh mi ; cha 'n fhàg mi tigh 's a bheil smhid na tein' ann an 
Eirinn gos am bi fhios agam co mi.** 

Chaidh e dha 'n lubhar. D^ bh* ann ach latha briagh blkth. Co 
chnnnaic e ach a mhàthair a nigheadaireachd. Bha e tigh 'n go 
seòrs' aithne, air alt 'a gon robh e smaointeachadh gur i mhhthair a 


bh' ann. Dh* fhalbh e agus chaidh e air a ciil, 's chuir e lamb sios 
'na broilleacb, 's thag e cbioch dheas a macb. " Dearbb/' urs* esan, 
** 's dalta cicbe deise dbuit mi." Tbug i 'n togaii sin air a ceann. " Do 
leitbid de tbàrlaid cba robb agamsa riabb, na mbac, na na dlialta !" 
** Tba mo Ikmb cbli ann an cUl do cbinn, agns tba claidheamb ann 
a^m' laimb dbeis, agus cuiridb mi *n ceann diot mar an innis tbu 
domh CO mi." *<Foi:i air do laimh a Chonaill mbic righ Eireann." 
** Dh' aitbnicb mi fbin sin, gom b'e sin mi, 's gon robb boinne db' fhuii 
mbic rigb annam ; acb co mbarbb m' atbair ?" " Mbarbb Feargbus ; 
agus diiibbail cbo mòr ri t' atbair mbarbbadh e cbeart latha, b' e sin 
Boinne Breat mac rigb Alba." " Co mbarbb Boinne Breat?" " Tba 
brktbair do Fbeargbus ris an can end Lagb an Ikidb." *' 'S c'kit' a 
bbeil an duine sin a fuireacbd?" ^'Cba'n fbaigbeadb e sgatb air 
fearann Eirinn aon uair 's gon do mbarbb e Boinne Breat. Cbaidb 
e 'n bbeinn, 's rinu e cos 'sa cboille miosg b-uile biast a's creutair 
mi-gbnktbaicbte." "Co gbl^idb airm m' atbar?" «Tba mise." 
" Tbeirig agus faigb eud'stboir tbugams' eud." Tbug i a'ionnsuidb 
eud. Db' fhalbb esan agus cbuir e na b-aim air, agus tbigeadb end 
dba cbo matb 's gad a dbèania dba fbin eud. " Cba 'n itb mi greim, 
's cba 'n òl mi deocb, 's cba dian mi stad acb a nocbd ; gos an ruig 
mi far a bbeil an duine sin, Ce b'e ait' a bbeil e." Cbuir e 'n 
oidbcbe sin seachad far an robb e. 

Anns a' mbadainn an la 'r na nibàireacb db' fbalbb e. Gbabb e 
air agbaidh, gos an robb dngbadb air a bhonnaibb, agus tolladb air a 
bbrògaibb. Bha neoil gbeal' an latba 'falbb 's neoil dbugba na b~ 
oidbcbe 'tigbinn, 's gon e faigbinn àite stad na tkmb dba. Cbunnaic 
e coille mhòr ann an sin. Dhian e cos ann an tè de na craobban go 
b-ard anns am fanadb e 'n oidbcbe sin. Anns a' mbadainn an la 'r 
na mbàireacb tbug e sUil uaidbe. D^ cbunnaic e acb an aon uUe- 
bbeist, nacb fbacas riabb a leitbid fo 'n gbr^in, 'na sbineadb gon aod- 
acb, gon cbaisbbeart, gon cbeann aodacb ; fbionn' agus fbiasag air dbol 
tbairis air. Smaointicb e gad a racbadb e sios nacb dianadb e feuin 
air. Cbuir e saigbead ann an crois 's loisg e air. Bbuail e anns a 
ghairdean deas air i, 's tbug am fear a bba sbios breab as. " Na gluais 
feitbe de t' fb^itbean, na cuisle de t' chuislean, na lideag de t' fbeoil, 
na ròinean de d' gbruaig ; gos an geall tbu gom faic tbu mise 'nam 
rigb air Eirinn, no cuiridb mise sios dbetb sbleagban caola, daraicb na 
db' fbuaigbeas ris an talamb tbu." Cba d' ttiug an uilebbeist g^ill dba 
siud. Db' fbalbb e agus loisg e ritbisd, agus bbuail e anns a gbaird- 
ean tboisgeil e. ''Nacb d' thuirt mi riut roimbid gon cuisle de d' 
cbuislean a gbluasad, na bideag de t'fheoil, na ròinean de d' gbruaig, 
gos an gealladb tbu gom faiceadb tbu mise nam rigb air Eirinn." 

^■' w ^ ^" I I uuMw^^v^M^"^— ^vw^BiVipp^VM^ipaiiaHWiQiViPPHIPP 

CONALL. 165 

Thig a naas mata, *8 chi mi tha fliin na mi fhin ann fo *ii am so 'n 
ath-oidhch'. Thàinìg e 'nnas. "Nam biodh fhios'amgure do Idthid 
de thàrlach a chuireadh a leithid mar fhiachaibh orm, cha dianalnn 
doit air chor sam bith e ; ach o *n gheall mi dnit e ni mi e, 's bidh 
Sinn a' falbh." 

Ghabh end 'ionnsuidh pàileas an righ. Dh* eubh end cath na 
còmbrag a chur amach, airneo ceann Fhearghnis, na e fhin mar 
phiiosanach. Cath a's còmhrag a gheibheadh end, 's cha b'e cheann ; 
's idir cha 'n fhaigheadh end e fhin mar phriosanach. Chnireadh 
a mach ceithir chiadliighghaisgeach, ceithir chiad lànghaisgeach, agns 
ceithir chiad treiinghaisgeach. Thòisich end orra. Cha chuireadh 
an dama fear laimh an fhir eile mnr a mharbhadh end. Dh' eubh 
end cath as comhrag a ris, air-neo ceann Fbearghuis a chur amach, 
na e fhin mar phriosanach. ** 'Se cath as comhrag a gheibh thu ; *& 
idir cha 'n fhaigb thu mo cheann, 's cha mhotha 'gheibh thu mi fhin 
mar phrìosanach/' Chuireadh a mach da chiad diag lùghghaisgeach, 
da chiad diag lànghaisgeach, agus da chiad diag tretmghaisgeach. 
Cha chuireadh an darna fear a laimh an fhir eile mur a mharbhadh 
end diu sin. Dh' eubh end cath as còmhrasr, airneo ceann Fbearghuis, 
na e fhin mar phriosanach Cath as comhrag a gheibheadh end, *8 
cha b' e ceann Fbearghuis ; 's idir cha 'n fhaigheadh end e fhin 'na 
phriosanach. Chuireadh a mach ceithir chiad fichead a 'n ionnsuidh. 
Cha chuireadh an darna fear 'n fhear eile mur a mharbhadh eud. 
Dh* eubh eud cath na comhrag. " Tha *n fheadhain a tha mach cho 
olc," ursa Fearghus, *' 's nach gabh eud ach mo cheann, agus mur am 
faigh eud marbhaidh eud na bheil an Eirinn, 's mi fhin as an dèigh. 
Thugadh fear agaibh an ceann bhar aon de na chaidh a mharbhadh, 
agns nur a thig Lagh an Ikidh 's a dh' iarras e mo cheann na mi fhin 
a'm' phriosanach, thugaibh dha e, agus saoilidh e g'an e mo cheannsa 
bhiosann." Thugadh an ceann do Lagh an Ikidh. Chaidh e far an robh 
Conall leis. ** D^ th' agad an sin ?" ursa Conall. ** Ceann Fhearghuis." 
" Cha *n e sin ceann Fbearghuis fhathasd, 's mise 's giorra chunnaic e 
na thu fhin ; ach till 's thoir thugamsa ceann Fbearghuis." Thill 
Lagh an làìdh. " Kachadh fear eile 'na choinneamh an kit' an righ, 's 
abradh e gur e cheann a gheibh e, 's nach e fhin mar phiiosanach. 
Chaidh am fear so an coinneamh Lagh an Ikigh. Bu^ e air 's thug 
e 'n ceann as an amhuich aige. Rkinig e Conall. ** D4 th' agad an 
sin y* ** Ceann Fbearghuis." " Cha *n e sin ceann Fbearghuis fhathas i . 
Till agus thoir am' ionnsuidh ceann Fbearghuis." Thill Lagh an Ikidh. 
'* Tha 'm fear a tha muigh cho beachdùl, 's am fear eile cho daull, 's 
nach 'eil duin' an Eirinn nach marbh eud mar am faigh eud mi fhin.*' 
<* C V bheii thu dol a Lagh an Ikidh ?" ursa Fearghus. *< Tha mi dol a 


dh' ìarraìdh do chimisa na ihn fhin mar phiiosanach." <'*Se mo cheann 
a gheibh tha, 's cha mhi fhin mar phnosanach ; ach d^ bhàigh a tha thu 
toirt do d' bhràthair?" ** A bbàigh a thug tha fhin domhsa bheir mise 
duits' e." Thug e 'n ceann as an amhnich aige *8 thag e leis e. 
Thkinig e far an robh Conall. ** D^ th' agad an sin ?" « Ceann Fhear- 
ghuis." "Cha'ne." « Go dearbh 's e." « Lig fhaicinn e." Thug e 
dha e. Tharruinn e e ag bhaail e air, 's rinn e da cheann de 'n aon. 
lliòisich end an so air a ch^ile. Dhianadh end bogan air a chreagan 
agus creagan air a bhogan, 's an t-àite bn lagha rachadh end fodha 
rachadh end fodha gan glUinean, 's an t-àite bn mhotha rachadh end 
fodba rachadh eud fodha *gan shilean. Smaointich Conall go *m ba 
dona dha toiteam 's e 'n d^is dol cho goirid do'n ghnothach. Tharruinn 
e chlaidheamh agus thilg e 'n ceann de Lagh an làidh. Tha mise nis 
a' m* righ air Eirinn mur bu choir domh fhin a bhi. 

Thug e mhàthair 's a h'athair as an lubhar, 's thug e go ruig am 
pkileas eud. 'S bha shliochd ann gos an naoidheamh gltin. Thacadh 
an t-aon ma dheireadh, 'na leanabh, le bideag de chnaimh a chaidh 
tarsuinn 'na amhuich, 's thainig treubh eile stigh air Eirinn. 

Alexander McNeill. 

Heard it recited bj his father and by several others in his 

This story is one of a number, all of which relate to a certain 
Conall, who was a natural son of a king of Erin, and came to be 
king himself. 

There are generally two elder brothers bom of the queen, 
(instead of three uncles,) who are less brave than the illegitimate 
brother. The mother is generally a daughter of an old man who 
has magical arts. The king stays in his house at first for a whole 
year, and fancies it one day ; all sorts of adventures, and poetical 
ornaments, and descriptions of dress, and feats of skill are joined 
to this frame-work, and the stories are always told with a great 
deal of the measured prose which seems to belong to the parti- 
cular class of which this is a specimen. They are always long. 
I think they are the remains of compositions similar to portions 
of the manuscripts in the Advocates' Library and elsewhere — 
which are a curious jumble of classical and native allusions woven 
into a story ; which, for want of a better illustration, may be com- 
pared with the old romances of other tongues. 


CONALL. 167 

The story, translated into English, loses part of its merit, 
which consists of the rapid utterance of a succession of words 
which convey, by their sound and rhythm alone, the idea of the 
fight which they describe ; the sounds — 

" Da cheead djSeag Làngàsh-^ch 
Da cheead djgeag Loogash-gach 
Da chSead djeeag Train-gàuh-gàch 

Gàn cà'lchg-ag on sgèe-an 
Gam full agiis gam feo-il 
Ans an èeàr-màilt." 

By the constant repetition of the sounds djee, gcuh, gach, suggest 
the singing, creaking, clashing, and hacking of blades and armour, 
and the rhythm, which varies continually, and must be heard to be 
understood, does the same. 

The narrator heard it from his father and other old men in his 
youth. I have heard similar passages frequently from others, 
since the beginning of this year, and I remember to have heard 
something of the kind as a child. 

One of the names, or one like it, occurs in a MS.* said to be 
of the twelfth century, in a tale called " The Story of Art Mac- 
Cninn, King of Ireland, and the Battle of Magh Muckruime," 
which'extends to forty-three pages. Art MacCon wins a battle 
and becomes king of Ireland. All I know of the story is from an 
abstract ; it is said to be mixed with poetry. The tales about 
Conall are all over the Highlands, and those who repeat them 
are generally old men. I have several versions written which 
differ materially from this. 


From Alexander MacNeill, Barra. 

Tj^IONN, the son of Cumal. Fionn Mao Cumhail 
-■- was in Eirinn, and the king of Lochlann in Loch- 
lann. The king of Lochlann sent Maghach Coloar 
to Fionn to be taught. The king of the Sbalg sent to 
him his own son, whom they called iNNSRroH Mao- 
EiOH nan Sealg. They were of age, six years (and) 
ten. Then they were in Erin with Fionn, and Fionn 
taught M^^hach, son of the king of Lochlann, every 
learning he had. 

There came a message from the king of Lochlann, 
that he was in the sickness of death for leaving the 
world ; and that the Maghach must go home to be 
ready for his crowning. Maghach went away, and the 
chase failed with the Fheinn, and they did not know 
what they should do. 

Maghach wrote a letter to Fionn from Lochlann 
to Eirinn : " I heard that the chase failed with you in 
Eirinn. I have burghs on sea, and I have burghs on 
shore ; I have food for a day and a year in every burgh 
of these — ^the meat thou thinkest not of, and the drink 
thou thinkest not of; come thou hither thyself and 
thy set of Fhiantaohan. The keep of a day and a 
year is on thy head." 


Fionn got the letter, and he opened it : " He is 
pitiable who would not do a good thing in the begin- 
ning of youth; he might get a good share of it again in 
the beginning of his £^e. Here is a letter come from 
my foster-son from Lochlann that he has burghs on sea 
and burghs on shore, food for a day and year in every 
one of them — ^the drink that we can think of, and the 
drink that we do not think of ; the meat we can think 
of, and the meat that we do not think of — and it is 
best for us to be going." 

"Whom shall we leave," said Fiachbrb MacFhinn 
(the trier son of Fionn) his son, " to keep the darlings 
and little sons of Eireann." 

" I will stay," said Fiachere MacFhinn. 

" I will stay," said Diarmid O'DroBHNE, his sister's 

" I will stay," said Innsridh MacEigh nan Sealg, 
his foster-son. 

" I will stay," said Cath Conan Mac Mhic Con. 

" We will stay now," said they — ^the four. 

" Thou art going, my father," said Fiachere, " and it 
is as well for thee to stay ; how then shall we get word 
how it befalls thee in Lochlainn ? " 

" I will strike the ord Fiannt (hammer of Fiant) in 
Lochlainn, and it will be known by the blow I strike 
in Lochlainn, or in Eirinn, how we shall be." 

Fionn and his company went, they reached Loch- 
lainn. Maghach Colgar, son of the king of Lochlainn, 
went before them to meet them. 

" Hail to thee, my* foster-father," said Maghach. 

" Hail to thyself, my foster-son," said Fionn. 

" There is the business I had with thee ; I heard 
that the chase had failed in Eirinn, and it was not well 
with me to let you die without meat I have burghs 
on sea and burghs on shore, and food for a day and 


year in every one of them, and which kind wouldst 
thou rather choose Ì " 

" It is on shore I used always to be, and it is not 
on sea ; and I will take some on shore," said Fionn. 

They went into one of them. There was a door 
opposite to every day in the year on the house ; every 
sort of drink and meat within it They sat on chairs ; 
they caught every man hold of a fork and of a knife. 
They gave a glance from them, and what should they 
see in the " araich" (great half-ruined buUding), but 
not a hole open but frozen rime. They gave them- 
selves that lift to rise. The chairs stuck to the earth. 
They themselves stuck to the chairs. Their hands 
stuck to the knives, and there was no way of rising out 
of that 

It was day about that Fiachaire MacFhinn and 
Innsridh MacEigh nan Sealg were going to keep the 
chase, and Diarmid O'Diubhne and Conan were going 
on the other day. On their returning back, what 
should they hear but a blow of the hammer of Fionn 
being struck in Lochlainn. 

" If he has wandered the universe and the world, 
my foster-father is in pledge of his body and souL" 

Fiachaire MacFhinn and Innsridh MacEigh nan 
Sealg went from Eirinn, and they reached Lochlainn. 

" Who is that without on the burgh Ì " 

"I am," said Fiachaire MacFhinn and Innsridh 
MacEigh nan Sealg. 

" Who is there on the place of combat Ì " 

" There are two hundred score of the Greugachaibh 
Greeks come out and great Iall at their head coming 
to seek my head to be his at his great meal to-morrow." 

Fiachaire MacFhinn and Innsridh MacEigh nan 
Sealg went and they retu^hed the place of combat. 

" Where are ye going Ì " said Fiachaire MacFhinn. 


" We are going to seek the head of Mhic Cumhail 
to be ours at our great meal to-morrow." 

" It is often that man's head might be sought and 
be on my own breast at early morning." 

" Close up," said lall, " and leave way for the 

" There is a small delay on that," said Fiachaire. 

Fiachaire, son of Fhinn, pressed out on the one end 
of them. Innsridh, son of the king of the Sealg, 
began in the other end, till the two glaves clashed 
against each other. They returned, and they reached 
the burgh. 

Go aig a bha 'n càth grannda ** With whom was the hideoHS fight 
A bha air an a chomhrag That was on the battle-place 

Andiugh? to-day?" 

said Fionn. 

" With me," said Fiachaire, " and with the son of 
the king of the Sealg." 

" How was my foster-son off there Ì " 

"Man upon man," said Fiachaire. "And if he 
had not another man, he had lacked none." 

" Over the field, to my foster-son," said Fionn ; 
" and his bones but soft yet ! but mind the place of 
combat Yonder are three hundred score of the Greeks 
coming out seeking my head to be theirs at their great 
meal to-morrow." 

Fiachaire MacFhinn, and Innsridh MacEigh nan 
Sealg went, and they reached the place of combat. 

"Where are you going?" said Fiachaire Mac- 

" Going to seek the head of Mhic Cumhail to be 
ours at our great meal to-morrow." 

" It's often that very man's head might be sought, 
and be on my own breast at early morning." 


" Close up and leave way for the people." 

" There is still a small delay on that" 

Fiachaire began in the one end of the company, 

and Innsridh MacEigh nan Sealg in the other, tiU the 

two glaves clashed on each other. They returned to 

the burgh- 

« Who is that r said Fionn. 

" I am Fiachaire, thy son, and Innsridh, son of 

the king of the Sealg, thy foster son, 

With whom wae the hideous fight 
That was on the battle place (battle ford) 


It was with me and with three hundred score of 

" Mind the place of battle ; there are four hundred 
score of the Greeks, and a great warrior at their head 
coming to seek my head to be theirs at their great 
meal to-morrow." 

They went and they reached the place of battle. 

" Where are you going ? " said Fiachaire MacFhinn 
to the Greeks. 

" Groing to seek the head of Mhic Cumhail, to be 
ours at our great meal to-morrow." 

" It^s often that man's head might be sought, and be 
on my own breast at early morning." 

" Close up from the way, and leave way for the 

" There is a small delay on that yet." 

He himself and Innsridh MacEigh nan Sealg be- 
gan at them till they had kiUed every man of them, 
and till the two glaves clashed on each other. They 
returned home, and they reached the burgL 

" Who 's that without ?" said Fionn. 

** I am Fiachaire, thy son, and Innsridh, son of 
the king of the Sealg, thy foster-son, 


With whom was the hideous fight 
That was at the battle place (ford) 


" It was with me and so many of the Greeks." 

" How was my foster-son off there ? " 

" Man upon man, and if there had been no one 
besides, he had lacked none." 

"Mind the place of battle. There are twice as 
many as came out a good and heedless warrior at 
their head, coming to seek my head, to be theirs at 
their great meal to-morrow." 

They reached the place of battle ; and when they 
reached it, there came not a man of the people. 

" I won't believe," said Fiachaire MacFhinn, " that 
there are not remnants of meat in a place whence such 
bands are coming. Hunger is on myself, and that we 
ate but a morsel since we ate it in Eii'inn. And 
come thou, Innsridh, and reach the place where they 
were. They will not know man from another man, 
and try if thou canst get scraps of bread, and of 
cheese, and of flesh, that thou wilt bring to us ; and 
I myseK will stay to keep the people, in case that 
they should come unawares." 

" Well, then, I know not the place. I know not 
the way," said Innsridh, son of the king of the Sealg, 
but go thyself and I will stay." 

Fiachaire went, and Innsridh staid, and what 
should they do but come unawares. 

" Where are ye going," said Innsridh ? 

" Going to seek the head of Mhic Cumhail, to be 
ours at our great meal to-morrow." 

" It is often that man's head might be sought, and 
be on my own breast at early morning." 

" Close up, and leave way for the people." 


" There is a small delay on that yet" Innsridh 
began at them, and he left not one alone. 

"What good did it do thee to slay the people, 
and that I will kill thee/' said the great warrior at 
their head. 

" If I had come out, from my meat and from my 
warmth, from my warmth and from my fire, thou 
shouldst not kill me.'' He and the warrior began at 
each other. They would make a bog of the crag, and 
a crag of the bog, in the place where the least they 
would sink they would sink to the knees, in the place 
that the most they would sink they would sink to the 
eyes. The great warrior gave a sweep with his glave, 
and he cut the head off Innsridh MacEigh nan Sealg. 

Fiachaire came. The warrior met him, and with 
him was the head of Innsridh. 

Said Fiachaire to the great warrior, " What thing 
hast thou there Ì " 

" I have here the head of Mhic Cumhail." 

" Hand it to me." 

He reached him the head. Fiachaire gave a kiss 
to the mouth, and a kiss to the back of the head. 

" Dost thou know to whom thou gavest it Ì " said 
Fiachaire to the warrior. 

" I do not," said ha " It well became the body on 
which it was before." 

He went and he drew back the head, and strikes 
it on the warrior's head while he was speaking, and 
makes one head of the two. He went and he reached 
(the place) where Fionn was again. 

" Who is that without ? " said Fionn. 

" I am Fiachaire, thy son, 

With whom was the hideous fi:;ht 


That was at the battle place" 


" It was with Innsridh, thy foster-son, and with 
the Greeks." 

" How is my foster-son from that Ì " 

" He is dead without a soul. Thy foster-son killed 
the Greeks first, and the great Greek killed him after- 
wards, and then I killed the great Greek." 

" Mind the place of combat. There is Maghach, 
son of the king of Lochlann, and every one that was in 
the Greek burgh with him." 

He went and he reached the place of combat. 

" Thou art there, Tiachaire ?" said Maghach Colgar. 
i am. 

" Let hither thy father's head, and I will give thee 
a free bridge in Lochlainn." 

"My father gave thee school and teaching, and 
every khid of draochd (Magic) he had, and though 
he taught thee that, thou wouldst take the head off 
him now, and with that thou shalt not get my father's 
head, until thou gettest my own head first." 

Fiachaire began at the people, and he killed every 
man of the people. 

" Thou hast killed the people," said Maghach, " and 
I wiU kiU thee." 

They began at each other. 

They would make a bog of the crag, and a crag of 
the bog ; in the place where the least they would sink, 
they would sink to the knees ; in the place where 
the most they would sink, they would sink to the eyes. 
On a time of the times the spear of Mhaghach struck 
Fiachaire, and he gave a roar. What time should 
he give the roar but when Diarmid was turning step 
from the chase in Eirinn. 

" If he has travelled the universe and the world," 
said Diarmid, " the spear of the Maghach is endured 
by Fiachaire." 

'V m mw'w^m^rw^^ff^m 







" Wailing be on thee," said Conan. " Cast thy 
spear and hit thy foe.*' 

" K I cast my spear, I know not but I may kill my 
own man." 

" If it were a yellow-haired woman, well wouldst 
thou aim at her." 

" Wailing be on thee now ; urge me no longer." 

He shook the spear, and struck under the shield 

" Who would come on me from behind in the 
evening, that would not come on me from the front in 
the morning ?" said Maghach. 

" 'Tis I would come on thee," said Diarmid, " early 
and late, and at noon." 

" What good is that to thee," said Maghach, " and 
that I will take the head off Fiachaire before thou 

" If thou takest the head off him," said Diarmid, 
" I will take off thy head when I reach thee." 

Diarmid reached Lochlainn. Maghach took the 
head off Fiachaire. Diarmid took the head off the 
Maghach. Diarmid reached Fionn. 

" Who 's that without Ì " said Fionn. 

" It is I, Diarmid, 

With whom was the hideous fight 
That was on the battle place 


" It was with so many of the Greeks, and with 
the Maghach, son of the king of Lochlann, and with 
Fiachaire, thy son ; Fiachaire killed all the Greeks, 
Maghach killed Fiachaire, and then I killed Maghach." 

" Though Maghach killed Fiachaire, why didst thou 
kill Maghach, and not let him have his life Ì but mind 
the place of combat, and all that are in the burghs of 
the Greeks coming out together.^ 




"Whether wouldst thou rather, Cath Conan, go 
with me^ ou stay here Ì " 

" I would rather go with thee." 

They went, and when they reached the place of 
combat^ no man met them. They reached where 
they were ; they sat there, and what should Cath 
Gonan do but fall asleep, they were so long coming 
out. It was not long after that till they began to 
come, and the doors to open. There was a door 
before every day in the year on every burgh, so that 
they burst forth all together about the head of Diarmid. 
Diarmid began at them, and with the sound of the 
glaves and return of the men, Cath Conan awoke, and 
he began thrusting his sword in the mid leg of Diarmid. 
Then Diarmid felt a tickling in the middle of his leg. 
He cast a glance from him, and what should he see 
but Cath Conan working with his own sword. 

" Wailing be on thee, Cath Conan," said Diarmid ; 
** pass by thy own man and hit thy foe, for it is as well 
for thee to thrust it into younder bundle* as to be 
cramming it into my leg. Do not thou plague me 
now till I hit my foe !" 

They killed every man of the people. 

They thought of those who were in the burgh, and 
ihey without food ; each one of them took with him 
the full of his napkin, and his breast, and his pouches. 

"Who's that without f said Fionn. 

" I am Diarmid, thy sister's son." 

" How are the Greeks f ' 

" Every man of them is dead, without a souL" 

" Oh, come and bring hither to me a deliverance 
of food." 

* There is a pun here, which cannot he rendered a hoot or a 
hti/ndki as of hay, or a crowd of men. 


^^^WC:^^««»^^— ^^W«W^^»^"^"*B^^B^«^^^BS^»» 


dachaidh, agos cheileadh an t-seUg air an Fheinn, 's cha robh fios acà 
d^ dhìanadh end. 

Sgrìobh Maghach litir go Fionn a Lochlainn do dh' Eirinn. 
" Chnala mi gon do cheileadh an t-seilg oirbh ann an Eirinn. Tha 
bruighean air muir agam 's tha bruighean air tir agam, tha 16n la a's 
bliadhn' agam anns a h-uile bmgh dhiu sin, am biadh nach smaoint- 
ich tbu 's an deoch nach smaointich thu. Thig thusa 'n so tha fhin 
agus do chuid Fhiantachan. Tha Ion la agus bliadhn' air do 

Fhnair Fionn an litir 's dh^ fhosgail e i, " 'Smairg nach dianadh 
rud math an ttis òige, gheibheadh e rud math an tùs a shine deth 
rithisd. Tha litir an so air tigh 'n 'm dhalt' a Lochlainn go 'bheil 
bruighean air muir agus bruighean air tìr aige. Ion la as bliadhna 's 
a h-uile t4 dhiu, an deoch a smaointicheas sinn 's an deoch nach 
smaointich sinn, am biadh a smaointicheas sinn 's am biadh nach 
smaointich sinn, agus 's ann is fhearra dhuinn a bhi falbh." 

** Co dh' fhàgas sibh," ursa Fiachaire MacFhinn a mhac, ** a 
ghleidheadh miiim agus màcan na h-Eireann.*' ** Fanaidh mis'," 
ursa Fiachaire MacFhinn. *' Fanaidh misV^nrsa Diarmaid O Duibhne 
mac a pheathar. *^ Fanaidh mis'," urs' Innsridh Mac righ nan Sealg 
a dhalta. ** Fanaidh mis'," ursa Cath Conan Mac mhic Con. '* Fan- 
aidh sinn a nis," urs' àdsan an ceithrear so. 

** Tha thu falbh m* athidr," ursa Fiachaire, " agus tha e cho math 
dhuit fantail." *' D^ nis mur a gheibh sinn brath mur a dh' èireas 
duit ann an Lochlainn?" ''Buailidh mis' an t-ord Fiannt' ann an 
Lochlainn, 's aithneachar air a bhuHl' a bhuaileas mi ann an Loch- 
lainn na 'n Eirinn d^mur a bhitheas sinn." 

Dh' fhalbh Fionn 's a chuideachd. Bàinig eud Lochlainn. 
Chaidh Maghach Colgar mac righ Lochlainn 'nan coinneamh agus 
'nan comhdhail. ** Failt* ort m' oide," ursa Maghach. ** Failt' ort fhin 
a dhalta," ursa Fionn. ** Siud an gnothach a bh'agam riut, chuala mi 
gon do cheileadh an t-seilg an Eirinn, 's cha bu mhath leam 'ur lig- 
eadh bks gon bhiadh. Tha bruighean air muir agam, 's tha bruigh- 
ean air tir agam agus Ion la a's bliadhn' anns' a h-uile gin diu; agus 
co-dhiu feadhain is roighniche leat ?" ** 'S ann air tir a chleachd mi 
bhi riabh, 's cha n' ann air muir, 's gabhaidh mi feadhain air tìr," 
ursa Fionn. Ghabh eud a stigh ann a h-aon diu. Bha dorus ma choinn- 
eamh h-uile latha sa' bliadhn' air an tigh; h-uile seorsa bidh a's dibhe 
stigh ann. Shuidh eud air cathraichean. Bug eud, a h-uile fear, air 
fore agus air sgithin. Thug eud shil uatha, 's d^ chunnaic eud air 
an àraich, ach gon toll fosgailte, ach snidhe reòta. Thug eud an togail 
sinn orra go èiridh. Lean na cathraichean ris an talamh, lean end 


f bin lis na cathraichean, lean na làmhan rìs na sgeanan, *s cha robh 
coraas air ^iridh as an siad. 'Se latha ma seach a bhiodh Fiach- 
aire MacFhinn agus Innsridh Mac Rigb nan Sealg a*falbh a ghleidh- 
eadh na seilg, agus bba Diarmaid O Duibhne agus Conan a* falbh 
an lath eile. Air tilleadh dhaibh air an ais, d^ chual end ach buill* 
an uird aig Fionn 'ga bhualadh ann an Lochlainn. " Ma shiubhail e 
'n domhan agus an saoghal tha m' oid' ann an geall a chuirp agus 
anama." Dh' fhalbh Fiacbaire MacFhinn agus Innsridh Mac Rigb 
nan Sealg a Eirinn agus ràinig eud Lochlainn. '' Co siud a mach air 
a bhruighin?' " Tha mis'," ursa Fiacbaire MacFhinn, " agus Innsridh 
Mac Rigb nan Sealg.** ^ Co tha 'n siud air an àth chombrag ?" " Siud 
da chiad fbicbead de na Greugacbaibb air tigh 'n a mach, agus lall 
mòr air anceann, a tigh 'n a dh* iarraidh mo chinnsa gos a bhi ac' air 
an diat mhòr a mkireacb." Dh' fhalbh Fiacbaire MacFhinn agus 
Innsridh Mac Rigb nan Sealg aecus rkinig end an t-àtb chombrag. 
"C a* bheil sibb a doir ursa Fiacbaire MacFhinn. " Tha sinn a' 
dol a dh' iarraidh ceann Mhic Cumhail gos a bhi againn air ar diat 
inbòr a màireach." " S' minig a rachadh go 'iarraidh 's gor moch air 
mbadainn air mo mbinid fbin e." '* Teann," urs' lall, " agus lig rathad 
dha 'n t-sluagb." ** Tha fuireachd beag air an sin," ursa Fiacbaire. 
Theann Fiacbaire MacFhinn a mach anns an dama ceann diu, tbòis- 
ich Innsridh Mac Rigb nan Sealg anns a' cheann eile, gos an do 
bhuail an da chlaidheamh ri cbeile. Thill eud agas ràinig eud am 
brugh. ** Co aig' a bha 'n càtb grannd' a bh' air an àtb chombrag 
an diugh?" ursa Fionn. " Agams'," ursa Fiacbaire, **'s aig Innsridh 
Mac Rigb nan Sealg.*' 

"Demur a bba mo dhalta dbeth sinn?" "Fear air an fhear," 
ursa Fiacbaire, " *s mar an robb fear a bharracbd aige, cba robh gin 
'na uireasbbuidh." ** Thar an ar do *m dhalt',*' ursa Fionn, " *s gon 
a chnàimhach maoth fbatbasd; ach cuimbnich an t-ktb chomb- 
rag. Siud tri chiad fichead de na Greugacbaibb a' tigh *n a mach 
a dh* iarraidh mo chinnsa go bhi ac* air an diat mbòr a màir- 
each." Dh* fhalbh Fiacbaire MacFhinn agus Innsridh Mac Rigb nan 
Sealg agus ràinig eud an t-àth chombrag. '^C* ait' a bheil sibb a dol?" 
ursa Fiacbaire MacFhinn. " Dol a dh* iarraidh ceann Mliic Cumhail 
gos a bhi againn air ar diat mbòr a màireach." '* 'Sminig a racbadh a 
dh* iarraidh ceann an duine sinn fbin 's gor moch air mhadainn air 
mo mbinid f bin e.*' '* Teann agus lig rathad do 'n t-slnagh.'* '^ Tha 
fuireachd beag air an sin fbatbasd " Thòisicb Fiachair' anns an 
darna ceann de 'n chuideachd, *s Innsridh Mac Rigb nan Sealg 
anns a cheann eile, gos an do bhuail an da chlaidheamh air a cbeile. 

Thill eud *ionn8nidh na bruighne a ris. <* Co siud?'* ursa Fionn. 


" Tha mise Fiachaire do mhac, agas Innsridh Mac High nan Sealg d6 

«* Co aig a bha 'n cath grannd' a bh' air an àth 'n diugh ?" " Bha 
agamsa 's aig tri chiad fichead de na Greugachaibh." " Cuimhnich 
an t' àth chomhrag; siud ceithir chiad fichead de na Greugachaibh 's 
gaisgeach mòr air an ceann, a' tigh 'n a dh' iarraidh mo chinnsa go 
bhi ac' air an diat mhòr a màireach.*' Dh' f halbh eud 's ràinìg end an 
t' àth chomhrag. " C kit* a' bheil sibh a dol ?" nrsa Fiachaire Mac- 
Fhinn ris na Greugachaibh. *' Dol a dh' iarraidh ceann Mhic Cumhail 
gos a bhi againn air ar diat mhòr a màireach." ** 'Sminic a rachadh a 
dh* iarraidh ceann an dnine sin, 's gor moch air madainn air momhion- 
aid fhin e." ** Teann as an rathad agus leig rathad dba 'n t-slnagh." 
'' Tha fuireach beag air an sin f hathasd." Thòisich e fh^in agus Inns- 
ridh Mac Righ nan Sealg orra, gos an do mharbh end a h-uile duine 
dhihbh, 's an do bhuail an da chlaidheamh air a cheile. Thill eud 
dachaidh 's ràinig eud am brugh. <* Co siud a muigh?" ursa Fionn. 
** Tha mise, Fiachaire do mhac, agus Innsridh Mac Righ nan Sealg 
do dhalta/' " Co aig a bha *n cath grannd' a bh* air an àth diugh ?** 
" Bha agamsa 's aig na h' niread dheth na Greugachaibh." " Demur 
a bha mo dhalta dheth an sin? " ** Fear air an fhear, smurrobh fear 
a bharrachd, cha robh gin 'na uireasbhuidh." " Cuimhnich an t-àth 
chomhrag. Siud a dha niread 's a thainig a mach an d^ tighinn a 
mach an diugh, gaisgeach gon cbiall air an ceann, a' tighinn a dh' 
iarraidh mo chinnsa go bhi ac' air an diot mhòr a mMreach.'* 

Ràinig eud an t-àth chomhrag, 's nur a ràinig eud cha d' thainig 
duine de 'n t-sluagh. ** Cha chreid mi," ursa Fiachaire MacFhinn, 
*' ait' as a bheil aleithid siud de bhuidheann a' tighinn, nach bi fuigh- 
leach bidh ann. Tha 'n t-acras orm fhin, 's nach d' ith sinn mir o'n 
a dh' ith sinn ann an Eirinn e, agus thalla thus' Innsridh, 's ruig an 
t-àit' an robh eud, 's cha 'n aithnich eud duine seach duin' eile, agus 
fiach am faigh thu criomagan de dh' aran, agus de chàis', agus de dh 
f heòil a bheir thu g'ar n' ionnsuidh, 's fanaidh mi fhin a* gleidheadh 
an t-sluaigh, gon fhios nach d' thigeadh eud gon fhios domh." 
" Mata cha 'n 'eil mis' eòlach, cha 'n aithne dhomh an rathad," urs' 
Innsridh Mac Righ nan Sealg, <^ach falbh fh^in, agus fanaidh 

Dh' f halbh Fiachaire, agus dh' fban Innsridh, agus d^ rinn àdsan, 
ach tighinn gon fhios da. **C'a' bheil sibh a dol?" urs' Innsridh. ** Dol 
a dh' iarraidh ceann Mhic Cumhail gos a bhi againn air ar diot mhòr 
a màireach." *' 'S minic a dh' iarradh ceann an duine sin, 's gur 
moch air mhadainn air mo mhicnaid fhin e." *' Teann agus leig 
rathad do 'n t-sluagh." <* Tha fuireach beag air an sin. f hatbasd." 

HA6HA0H OOLOAB. 1 8 3 

Thòisich Innsrìdh orra 's cha d* f hkg e gin diubh na ònrachd. D^ 
"m maith a rinn e duit an sluagh a mharbhadh 's go marbh mis* 
thus?" ors' an gaisgeach mòr a bh' air an ceann. <'Na 'n d' 
thiginnsa mach m' bhiadh, ague m' bblàthas, o m' bhlhthas, agus 
o m* theine, cha mharbhadh thusa mi." Thòisich e fh^in *s an 
gaisgeach air a ch^ile. Dhianadh eud bogan de 'n chreagan, agns 
creagan de 'n bhogan. An t-àite bu lugha 'rachadh eud fodha 
rachadh eud fodha go *n gliiinean, 's an t-ikite bn mho 'rachadh end 
fodha, rachadh eud fodha go 'n shilean. Thug an gaisgeach mòr 
taiTuinn air a' chlaidheamh, 's thilg e 'n ceann bhar Innsridh Mac 
Bigh nan Seaig. 

Thàinig Fiachaire. Choinnich e 'n gaisgeach, *8 ceann Innsridh 
aige. Ursa Fiachaire ris a' ghaisgeach mhòr, ** Dè 'n rud a th' agad 
an sin ?" ** Tha agam an so ceann Mhic Cnmhail." ** Fiach dhomh 
e.** Shin e dha *n ceann. Thug Fiachaire pòg dà bhial 's pòg do chnl 
a chinn. *< Am bheil fhios agad co dha thug thn e?" ursa Fiachaire, 
ris a' ghaisgeach. '< Cha n' eil," urs' esan. ** Is maith a thigeadh e 
air a' cholainn air an robh e roimhe." Dh* fholbh e, agus tharruing 
e *n ceann is bnailear air ceann a ghaisgich e, neas a bha e bruidhinn, 
is dianar aon cheann de 'n dh^. Dh' f halbh e, is ràinig e far an 
robh Fionn a rìs. 

** Co siud a muigh ?" ursa Fionn. •* Tha mise, Fiachaire do mhac." 
" Co aig a bha an cath grannd a bh' air an àth chomhràg an diugh ?" 
" Bha aig Innsridh do dlialta, is aig na Greugachaibh." ** Demur a 
tha mo dhalta deth sin?" "Tha e marbh gon anam. Mharbh do 
dhalta na Greugaich an toiseach, is mharbh an Greugach mbr esan a 
rithisd, is mharbh mis' an sin an Greugach mbr." 

'* Cuimhnich an t-àth chomhrag. Siud Maghach Mac Righ Loch- 
lann, is a h-uile gin a bha 's a bhrugh Ghreugach leis." Dh' f halbh e 
is ribinig e *n t-kth chomhrag. ** Tha thu 'an sin Fhiachaire," ursa 
Maghach Colgar. <* Tha." ** Leig thugam ceann d' athar, is bheir mi 
dhuit drochaid shaor ann an Lochlainn." '* Thug m' athair duit sgoil 
as ionnsachadh, 's a h-uile seorsa draochd a bh' aige, 's gad a dh 
ionnsaich e sinn duitse, bheireadh tu an ceann deth rithisd ; agus leis 
a sin cha 'n f haigh thusa ceann m' atharsa, gos am faigh thu mo 
cheann f bin an toiseach." 

Thòisich Fiachaire air an t-sluagh, is mharbh e h-uUe duine de 'n 
t-sluagh. ** Mharbh thus' an sluagh," ursa Maghach, <* 's marbhaidh 
mis' thusa." Thbisich eud air a cheile. Dhianadh end bogan de 'n 
chreagan agus creagan de 'n bhogan. An t-àite bu lugha rachadh 
eud fodha, rachadh eud fodha g'an glhinean, 's an t-àite bu 
mho a rachadh eud fodha rachadh eud fodha g'an stiilean. Uair 


de na h>iiaireaii, bhuail sleagh Mhaghaich Fiachaire is thn^ 
e ran as. D^ *n t-àm 's an d' thug e ran as ach mar a bha 
Diarmaid a tionndadh ceum o'n t-seilg *an Eirinn. '* Ma shiubhail 
e 'n domhan agus an saoghal," ursa Diarmaid, "tha sleagh a Mhagh- 
aich air giùlan Fhiachaire." '*Amhradh ort,** ursa Conan, "caith 
do shleagh, agus amais do namhaid.*' ''Ma chaitheas mise mo 
shleagh, cha 'n 'eil fhios' a'm nach ann a mharbhainn mo dhuine 
f hin.'^ *' Nam bu bhean bhadanach bhuidhe bhiodh ann *s maith a 
dh' amaiseadh thu i." ** Amhradh ort a nis, na h-athnuadhaich mi 
na 's f haide." Chrath e 'n t-sleagh, 's bhuail e e fo 'n chromastaicb. 
"Co *thigeadh orm a thaobh mo chiiil anns an anmoch, nach d' 
thigeadh orm a thaobh m' aghaidh anns a' mhadainn ?" ursa Magh- 
ach. *' Mise thigeadh ort/' ursa Diarmaid, *' moch a's anmoch 's air 
a mhiadhon latha." " D^ *m maith a ni sin duitse?" ursa Maghach, 
« *s gon d' thoir mis' an ceann de dh' Fhiachaire mu 'n d' thig thu." 
*' Ma bheir thus' an ceann deth," ursa Diarmaid, '* bheir mise an ceann 
diotsa nur a ruigeas mi." Ràinìg Diarmaid Lochlainn. Thug 
Maghach an ceann bhàrr Fhiachaire. Thug Diarmaid an ceann 
bhàrr a' Mhaghaich. Ràinig Diarmaid Fionn, ** Co siud a muigh?" 
ursa Fionn. " Tha ann mise Diarmaid." ^ Co aig a bha 'n cath 
grannd a bh' air an àth chomhrag an diugh ?" *' Bha e aig na b-uiread 
de na Greugachaibh, 's aig a Mhaghach Mac Righ Lochlann, 's aig 
Fiachaire do mhac. Mharbh Fiachaire h-uile gin de na Greug- 
achaibh mharbh Maghach Fiachaire, 's mharbh mis' an sin 
Maghach." " Gad a mharbh Maghach Fiachaire carson a mharbh 
thusa Maghach, nach do leig thu leis beo ? Ach cuimhnich an 
t-àth chomhrag, 's a h-nile h-aon am bruighean nan Greug- 
ach a tighinn a mach comhla." "Co dhiubh 's fhearr leats' a 
Chath Conan falbh leamsa, na fantainn an so?" "Is fhearr 
learn falbh comhla riutsa." Dh' fhalbh end, 's 'nur a ràinig 
eud an t-àth chomhrag cha do choinnich duine eud. Ràinig eud 
far an robh eud. Shuidh eud an sin is de rinn Cath Conan ach 
tuiteam'na chadal, leis cho fada 's a bha eud gon tighinn a mach. 
Cha b' fhada 'na dheigh sin gos an do thòisich eud ri tighinn, agus 
na dorsan ri fosgladh. Bha dorus ma choinneamh a h-uile latha 's a 
bhliadhn' air gach brugh air alt 's gon do mhaom eud a mach uile 
ma cheann Dhiarmaid. Thòisich Diarmaid orra, agus le fiiaim nan 
claidhean agus le tilleadh nan daoine dhùisg Cath Conan, 's thbisich 
e air dinneadh a' chlaidheamh ann am miadhon a chalp' aig' Diar- 
maid. Fhuair Diarmaid an so tachas ann am miadhon a chalp' aige. 
Thug e sùil uaithe, is de chunnaic e ach Cath Conan ag obair leis a 
chlaidheamh aige fh^in? "Amhradh ort a Chath Conain," ursa 


Diarmaid, " seachainn do dhuine f h^in, agus amais do namhaid, "s 
gor CO maith dhuit a bhi 'ga dhinneadh anns a bbota ud shuas, *8 a 
bhi 'ga dhinneadh a'm' chalpasa. Na h-athnuadhaich thnsa mis* 
anis, ach an amais mis' air mo namhaid." Mharbh eud a h-uiie duine 
dhe 'n t-sluagh. 

Smaointich eud air an fheadhain a bha 's an ^raich 's eud gon 
bhiadh. Thug gach aon diubh leis Ian neapaigin, 'sa bhrollaich, 's a 
phòcaidean. " Co siud a muigh ?" ursa Fionn. " Tha mise Diar- 
maid mac do pheathar." " D^mur a tha na Greugaich ?" << Tha a 
h-uile duine dhiubh marbh gon anam." '< O Thalia, agus their 
thugam teanachdas de bhiadh." "Gad a bheirinnsa dhuit biadh 
demur a dh' itheadh thu e, 's thu ann an sin, 's thu ceanghailte ?" 

Cha robh saod aig air biadh a thoirt daibh, ach a bhi 'toUadh a' 
bhrugh as an cionn, 's a' leigeil a bhidh sios a 'n ionnsuidh. *' De tha 
go d' f huasgladh as a sin ?" ursa Diarmaid. *' Mata is deacair sinn 
fhaotainn," ursa Fionn, *' 's cha 'n e h-uile fear a gheibh e, 's cha 'n 
'eil e ri fhaotainn idir." " Innis thusa dhomhs' e," ursa Diarmaid, 
*' agus gheibh mi e." " Tha f hios' am gon ciosnaich thu 'n saoghal 
gos am faigh thu e, agus cha *n 'eil mo leigheas-sa ri fhaotainn, na 
fuasgladh as an so, ach aon rud." " D^ 'n aon rud a th' ann, nach 
innis thu dhomhs' e, 's gom faighinn e?" *'Triiiir nigheanan righ 
ris an can eud Righ Gil." Tha na tri nigheanan ann an caisteal ann 
am miadhon acarsaid, gon searbhant, gon sgalag, gon duine beo ach 
eud f hin. Eud sin fhaotainn, 'sa h-uile boinne fala tìi' annt' f hàsgadh 
asda, 's a cuir air trinsearan, 's ann an copain,— a h-uile diar fal' a th' 
annt a thoirt asda, 's am Htgail cho geal ris an anart." 

Dh' f halbh Diarmaid, 's bha e 'falbh gos an robh dubhadh air a 
bhonnaibh, agus tolladh air a bhrogan, is neoil gheal an latha 'falbh, 
's neoil dhubha na h>oidhche tigbinn, is gon e faighinn kite stad na 
tàmh dha. Ràinig e 'n acarsaid, 's chuir e ceann caol a shleagh fo 
'uchd, 's ghearr e leum, s bha e 'sa chaisteal an oidhche sin. An la 
'r na mhàireach thill e. Thug e leis dithisd air an dama guallainn 
's a h-aon air a' ghualainn eile. Chuir e ceann caol a shleagh fo 'uchd, 
's air a chiad leum bha e air tir. Ràìnig e Fionn. Thug e d'a ionn- 
suidh na nigheanan. Dh' fhàisg e h-uile diar fala bh' anns na h-uile 
tè riabh a mach air miaraibh a cas, agus a làmh. Chuir e brat dubh 
air an uachdar. Thòisich e air dortadh na faV air an fheadhain a 
bha stigh, 's a h-uile fear a dhoirteadh e n f huil air, dh' eireadh e, is 
dh' f halbhadh e. Thèirig an f huil, is bha h-uile fear air f huasgladh 
ach h-aon ris an canadh eud Conan. 

"An ann a brath mis' fhàgail an so a tha thu Dhiarmaid?" 
" Amhradh ort, theirig an fhuiL" ** Nam bubhean bhriagh, bhadau- 


ach, bhnidhe mise, 's maith a dh' amaiseadh tu mi." ''Ma leanas 
do chraicionn riut f h^in, na do chnamhan ri d' f beoil, bheir mis' as 
tha." Dh' fhalbh e, agus rug e air làimh air. Fhuair e ma sgaoil, 
ach gon do lean craicionn a mhàis ris an kite shuidhe, agus craicionn 
nam bonn ris an talamb. ** Bu mhaith a nis," nrs' eudsan, ** na'm 
biodh clann an righ mhaith beb, ach 's coir an tiodhlacadh fo 'n 
talamh.'* Dh' fhalbh end far an robh end, 's fhnair end end a 
gàireachdaich *8 a' beadradh r'a chèile, is end beo. Dh' fhalbh Diar- 
maid, is thug e leis end air fras mhullach a ghnaillean, 's dh' f hag e 
end 's a chaisteal mur a bha end roimhe. Thàinig end uile dhachaidh 
do dh' Eirinn. 

Got this tale from Alexander MacNeill, fisherman, Then 
Tangval, Barra ; says he learnt it from his father, and that he 
heard it recited by him and others ever since he remembers ; says it 
has been handed down orally from one person to another from 
time immemorial. MacNeill is about sixty years of age, and can 
neither read, write, nor speak English. His father died twenty 
years ago, aged eighty years. 

Barra, July 1869. 

I know nothing like this anywhere out of the Highlands, but 
1 have heard similar wild rambling stories there all my life. 

The heroes are the heroes of Ossian, with the characters 
always assigned to them in Gaelic story. Fionn, the head of the 
band, but not the most successful ; Diarmaid, the brown-haired 
admirer of 'the fair sex ; Conan, the wicked, mischievous charac- 
ter, who would be the clown in a pantomime, or Loki in Norse 
mythology. They are enchanted in a Bbugh, which I have trans- 
lated burgh, on the authority of Armstrong; and they fight 
crowds of Greeks on a place, if it be a for aitb ; or at a ford, if it 
be ATH, which is pronounced in the same way. Greeks, Greu- 
GACHiBH, may possibly be GsuAGACH-ibh, the long-haired people 
mentioned in the first story, changed into Greeks in modem 
times ; or " Gbuagach " may be a corruption from " Greugach," 
and this story compounded by some old bard from all the know- 
ledge hehad gathered, including Greeks, just as the fore-word to the 
Edda is compounded of Tyrkland, and Troja, and Odin, and Thor, 
the Asia men and the Asa, and all that the writer knew. The 
stoty as told is extravagant. Men in Eirinn and in Lochlainn, Ireland, 


and Scandinavia, converse and throw spears at each other. The 
hammer of Fionn is heard in Ireland when struck in Lochlan. 
But one of the mannscripts in the Advocates' Library throws 
some light on this part of the tale. If the scene were an island 
in the Shannon, men might converse and fight in the ford well 
enough. The MS. is a quarto on paper, with no date, containing 
five tales in prose, a vocabulary, and poems, and is attributed to 
the twelfth century. " Keating considers the subject of Tale 2, 
which contains forty-two pages, as authentic history." One of 
the people mentioned is Aol or ^ul, a son of Donald, king of 
Scotland, who is probably " Great lall," unless lall is larl, an 
Earl. Tale 3 sends Cuchullin first to Scotland to learn feats of 
agility from Doiream, daughter of King Donald, thence to Scythia, 
where a seminary is crowded with pupils from Asia, Africa, and 
Europe. He beats them all, goes through wonderful adventures, 
goes to Greece, returns with certain Irish chiefs, arrives in Ire- 
land,_and is followed by his son, a half Scythian, whom he kills at 
a ford. No. 4, the story of the children of Lir, changed into 
swans, is very curious* 

No. 5 is called the rebellion of Miodach, son of Colgab, 
against Fingal, and seems to resemble Maghach Colgar. 

Golgar, king of Lochlin, proposes to assume the title of Sove- 
reign of the Isles, and to subjugate Ireland. He is beaten by 
Fingal, who gives him a residence in an idand in the Shannon, 
After eighteen years he comes to propose riddles to Fingal, and 
invites him to an entertainment. They, the flngalians, go, and 
are enchanted^ sing their own dirge, are overheard by a friend 
sent by Ossian. Some Oreeh Claris (Gaelic, larla) appear, and 
there is a great deal of fighting. Ossian dispatches Diabmad o 
DuiBHNE and Fathì^oh Cjlnnach, who guard a ford and perfonn 
feats. Oscar, son of Ossian, performs prodigies of valour, and 
kills Sinnsir. 

This abstract of an abstract, lent me by Mr. Skene, is sufficient 
to shew that this old manuscript tale still exists in fragments, 
as tradition, amongst the people of the Isles. 

The transcriber who copied it into the Eoman hand in 1813, 
considers the MS. to be written in very pure Gaelic. It is re- 
ferred to the twelfth or thirteenth century, is characterized by 
exuberant diction, groups of poetical adjectives, each beginning 


with the same letter as the substantive. In short, Tale 5 
seems to be a mnch longer, better, and older version of the 
tale of Maghach Colgar. The transcriber makes a kind of 
apology for the want of truth in these tales at the end of his ab- 
stract. He was probably impressed with the idea that Ossian 
and his heroes sang and fought in Scotland, and that Uirsgeul 
meant a new tale or novel, unworthy of notice. My opinion 
is that the prose tales and the poems, and this especially, 
are alike old compositions, founded on old traditions common to 
all Celts, and perhaps to all Indo-European races, but altered and 
ornamented, and twisted into compositions by bards and reciters 
of all ages, and every branch of the race ; altered to suit the 
time and place — adorned with any ornament that the bard or 
reciter had at his disposal ; and now a mere remnant of the past. 

It is a great pity that these MSS. in the Advocates' Library 
are still unpublished. They could not fail to throw light on the 
period when they were written. 

It is remarkable that the so-called Greeks in this story seem 
to want the head of Fionn for dinner. 


From Widow M. Calder, a pauper, Sutherland. 

TN the mill of the Glens Muilionna glbannan lived 
-■- long ago a cripple of the name of Murray, better 
known as " Ally " na MuiHnn. He was maintained 
by the charity of the miller and his neighbours, who, 
when they removed their meal, put each a handful 
into the lamiter's bag. The lad slept usually at the 
mill j and it came to pass that one night, who should 
enter but the Brollaohan,* son of the Fuath. 

Now the BroUachan has eyes and a mouth, and 
can say two words only, mi-fhbin, myseli^ and thu- 
FHEiN, thyself ; besides that, he has no speech, and 
alas no shape. He lay all his lubber-length by the 
dying fire ; and Murray threw a fresh peat on the 
embers, which made them fly about red hot, and 
Brollachan was severely burnt So he screamed in an 
awful way, and soon comes the " Vough," very fierce, 
crying, " Och, my Brollachan, who then burnt you ?" 
but all he could say was " mee ! " and then he said 
" 00 !" (me and thou, mi thu); and she replied, " Were 
it any other, would n't I be revenged." 

* Brollachan is a Gaelic expression for any shapeless deformed 
creature. — Collector. I should translate it breastling, or bant- 
ling.— J. F. C. 


Murray slipped tlie peck measure over himsell^ and 
hid among the machineiy, so as to look as like a sack 
as possible, ejaculatiiig at times, " May the Lord pre- 
serve me," so he escaped unhurt ; and the " Vough " 
and her Brollachan lefb the mill. That same night a 
woman going by the place, was chased by the still 
furious parent, and could not have been saved had she 
not been nimble enough to reach her own door in time, 
to leave nothing for the " Vough" to catch but her 
heel ; this heel was torn ofi^ and the woman went 
lame all the rest of her days. 

The word spelt Vongh, is probably spelt from ear ; bnt it is 
the Gaelic word Faath, which is spelt Fonah in the map of the 
estate where the mill is. The story was told in Gaelic to D. M., 
gamekeeper, and written by him in English. 

Of the same mill another story was got from the same source, 
called — 

1. MouiJON NA Fdadh. One of John Bethune's forebears, 
who lived in Tubeman, laid a bet that he would seize the kelpie 
of Monlin na Fonah and bring her bound to the inn at Inveran. 
He procured a brown right-sided maned horse, and a brown 
black-muzzled dog ; and, by the help of the latter, having secured 
the Yough, he tied her on the horse behind him, and galloped 
away. She was very fierce, but he kept her quiet by pinning her 
down with an awl and a needle. Crossing the bum at the fur- 
ther side of Loch Migdal, she became so restless that he stuck 
the shoemaker's and the tailor's weapons into her with great 
violence. She cried out, " Pierce me with the awl, but keep that 
slender hair-like slave (the needle) out of me. When he reached 
the clachan of Inveran, where his companions were anxiously 
waiting for him, he called to them to come out and see the Vough. 
Then they came out with lights, but as the light fell upon her 
she dropt o£E| and fell to earth like the remains of a fallen star — 
a small lump of jelly. (These jellies are often seen on the moors ; 
dropt stars resembling the medusie on the shore — Collector. 
They are white, do not seem to be attached to the ground, and 


are always attributed to the stars. Tfaey are common on moors, 
and I do not know what they are. — J. F. C.) 
The same creature, or one of her kind, 

2. In Beann na Caltuinn, one day called to Donald MacRobb, 
** Will you eat any charcoal, Donald ?" " No,'* he said ; '* my 
wife will give me supper when I go home." 

3. And it said, that a family of Munroes had, many gener- 
ations ago, married with the Yougha of Beann na Galtuinn. Their 
descendants had manes and tails till within the last four genera- 

4. Four or five miles from Skibo Castle is Loch Nigdal, with 
a great granite rock of the same name to the north of it ; at one 
end is a bum which passes the mill where the BroUachan entered. 
It is haunted with a Banshee (that is, female fairy), which the 
miller's wife saw about three years ago. She was sitting on 
a stone, quiet, and beautifully dressed in a green silk dress, the 
sleeyes of which were curiously puffed from the wrists to the 
shoulder. Her long hair was yellow, like ripe corn ; but on 
nearer view she had no nose. 

5. A Tery old, coarse, and dirty Banshee belongs to a small 
sheep-farm of Mr. Dempster's. A shepherd found her apparently 
crippled at the edge of the moss, and offered her a lift on his 
back. In going, he espied her feet, which were dangling down, 
and seeing that she was web-footed, he threw her off, flung away 
the plùd on which she had lain, and ran for his life. 

From all these it appears that the Fuath in Sutherland is a 
water spirit ; that there are males and females ; that they have 
web-feet, yellow hair, green dresses, tails, manes, and no noses ; 
that they marry men, and are killed by light, and hurt with 
steel weapons ; that in crossing a stream they become restless. 
From the following stories it appears that they are hairy, have 
bare skin on their faces, and have two large round eyes. 

The Rev. Mr. Thomas Pattieson has sent me a story from 
Islay, which he has written in English, but which he picked up 
amongst the people. It is as follows > but I have ventured to 
shorten it a little : — 

6. The Water Horse, — There is a small island off the Bbinns 


of Islaj, where there is a light-house now, hnt which wag formerly 
used for grazing cattle only. There is a fearful tide, and it is 
dangerous to cross the Sound in had weather. A man and a 
woman had charge of a large herd of cattle there, and the woman- 
was left alone one night, for the man had to go to the mainland, 
and a storm coming on, he ccmld not return. She sat ai her peat 
fìre in her cahin, when suddenly the heard a sound as of living 
creatures all about the hut, She knew her fellow-servant could 
not have returned, and, thinking it might be the cows, she glanced 
at the window which she had left open. She saw a pair of large 
round eyes fastened upon her malignantly, and heard a low 
whining laugh. The door opened, and an unearthly creature 
walked in. He was very tall and large, rough and hairy, with 
no skin upon his fafie but a dark livid covering. He advanced 
to the fire and asked the girl what her name was. She answered 
as confidently as she could, " Mise mi Fhin " — me myself. The 
creature seized the girl, and she threw a large ladle full of boiling 
water aHout him, and he, yelling,' bounded out. A great noise 
ensued of wild unearthly tongues, questioning their yelling 
companion as to what was the matter with him, and who had 
hurt him, " Mise mi Fhin, Mise mi Fhin — me myself, me my- 
self," shouted the savage ; and thereupon arose a great shout of 
laughter. No sooner did that pass than the girl rushed out in 
terror, turned one of the cows that was lying outside from its 
resting-place, and having made a circle about her, lay there her- 
self. The storm raged, and she heard the rushing of many foot- 
steps, loud laughter, and sounds of strife. When morning dawned, 
she was safe, protected by the consecrated circle, but the cow she 
had disturbed was dead. 

An Islay pilot told me this year that water-horses still haunt 
a glen near the island. Rattling chains are heard there. An ac- 
count was published some years ago in newspapers of the appear- 
ance of a mermaid near the spot. 

7. I myself heard the groundwork of this story long ago 
from John Piper ; and I heard a similar story this year in Man. 
(See Introduction.) It is the same as the BroUachan. The creature 
was scalded by a woman (who had said her name was Mi Fhin 
when he came in), because he wanted to eat her porridge ; and 



when he told his friends Myself had horned him, they said, " Ma 
8* thu f hin a losg tha f hin hi gad' leigheas fhin thu f hin — ^If it 
was thyself hamt thyself, he thyself healing thyself." 

8. I again heard a similar story this year from a gentleman 
whom I met in an inn at Gairloch. He had a large knowledge 
of Highland tales, and we spent several pleasant evenings to- 
gether. He has every right to stories, for one of his ancestors 
was a clever doctor in his day, and is now a magician in legends. 
Some of his MSS. are in the Advocates* Lihrary. 

Mr. Pattieson points out the resemblance which this hears to 
part of the story of Ulysses, and, for the 8|ike of comparison, 
here it is from the ninth hook of Pope's Odyssey : — 

9. Ulysses goes into the cave of the Cyclop with some of his 
companions. The Cyclop was a one-eyed shepherd, and his cave 
is described as a dairy ; his flocks were goats and sheep, which 
he milked when he came home. He shut his cave by rolling a 

" Scarce twenty-four wheeled cars compact and strong 
The massy load could bear or roll along.*' 

He was a giant, therefore, living under ground ; and he ate 
two of the strangers raw. He spoke Greek, but claimed to be 
of a race superior to the Greek gods. He ate two more Greeks 
for breakfast, and two for supper. Then got drunk on wine given 
him by Ulysses, which was better than his own. Ulysses said, 
*' No man is my name ;" and the giant promised to eat him last, 
as a return for his gift of rosy wine, and went to sleep. 

Then they heated a stake in the fire, and drilled his eye out. 
The Cyclops assembled at his '* well-known roar," asked what was 
the matter, and were told — 

" Friends, no man kills me, no man in the hour 
Of sleep oppresses me with fraudfiil power. 
If no man hurt thee, but the hand divine 
Inflicts disease, it fits thee to resign. 
To Jove or to thy father Neptune pray, 
The brethren cried, and instant strode away." 

It seems, then, that the Cyclop was a water-being as well as 
the Fuath and water-horse of Gaelic story, and the kelpie. There 
is no word in Gaelic that could be corrupted into Kelpie, but 


he is the same as Each uisge. The Gaelic tradition inay haVe 
been taken from Homer ; but if so, the plagiarist must have 
lived some time ago, for the story is now widely spread, and 
his edition must have had some other reading for ovnsf be- 
cause the Gaelic word is " myself," in all versions I know. 

10. The Oailleach Mhore of OLisBncK was a very rich 
and wicked old woman (I have already shown that there is 
some reason to suppose she was a Lapp ; and no Lapp ever 
offered me anything, often as I have been amongst them), who, 
though she had plenty of the good things of this world, never 
gave anything away, and never asked a traveller to sit down 
in her house. A bold man once laid a wager that he would 
circumvent her. He accordingly walked into her kitchen, 
when she craved to know whence he came and what was his 
destination. "I came from the south and am going north," 
said he. " And what is your name ? " said the hag of Greyside. 
•' My name is William Dean Suidhe." " William dean Suidhe !*' 
(sit down) she repeated ; when he flung himself into a chair, and 
making her a bow, said, " That will I when the mistress bids me." 
She was very angry, and, taking out an enormous bannock as 
round as the moon, began to eat without taking any notice of 
him. " Your piece seems a dry one, mistress," said William. 
'' The fat side is to me," said the witch. And indeed she had 
one side spread with butter about an inch thick. " The side that 
is to you shall be to me," he retorted ; and caught at the cake. 
He called her a satanic old Cailleach, and left the hut carrying 
his piece away as a trophy. The old woman was left cursing, 
and praying that the cake might kill him ; but he had too much 
sense to touch it, and his ill-wisher (the hag) foolishly finishing 
the remainder, died of its unhallowed effects, to the great relief 
of her neighbours. 

Those who maintain that popular stories are as old as the races 
who tell them, will probably consider the BroUachan, and the 
Water-horse, and the Greek story, as so many versions of an 
older original. In this case Homer has a strong claim ; but he 
has an equal claim to several other stories in this collection, 
which Grimm and the Arabian Nights claim as popular lore. 
Sindbad, and Conal Crobhi, and Grimms' Robber, if plagiarists, 
are far more guilty than the BroUachan ; and Murachadh Mac 
Brian, who follows, is quite as bad. 



From Donald Shaw, old soldier, Ballygrant, Islay. 

rpHEEE were three men in the land of Ceann Coire, 
-*- in Erin — that was Moorchug MacBreean, and 
Donachug MacBreean, and Breean Borr, their fether. 
They got a call to go to dine in a place which they 
called Maqh o Dorna. They took with them three- 
score knives, threescore bridles, and threescore red-eared 
white horses. They sat at the feast, and no sooner sat 
they at the feast than they saw the maid of Knock 
Seanan, in Erin, parsing hy. Then out would go 
Moorchug, then out would go Donachug, and then out 
would go Brian Borr, their father, after them. 

They were not long gone when they saw a great 
lad coming to meet them. 

Brian Borr blessed him in the Fisniche Faisniche — 
soft, flowing, peaceful words of wisdom. 

He answered in better words, and if they were no 
better they were no worse. 

"What man art thou?'* said Brian Borr. "A 
good lad am I, seeking a master." "Almighty of 
the world against thee, beast 1 Dost thou wish to be 
hanged with a sea of blood about thine eyes ! Tis 
long I would be ere I would hire thee at thy size." " I 
care not, may be Murachadh would hire me." He 


reached Murachadk Miuachadh blessed him in the 
FiSNioHB Faisnichb — soft, flowing, peaceM words of 
wisdom. The lad answered him in better words, and 
if no better they were no worse. 

"What man art thoul" says Murachadh. "A 
good lad am I, seeking a master/' said he. " What 
wages wilt thou be asking?" "Two-thirds of thy 
counsel to be mine,* and thyself to have but one, till 
we come fix)m chasing the maiden." 

" K thou gett'st that," said Murachadh, " man got 
it not before, and no man will get it after thee, but 
sure if thou wouldst not honour it, thou wouldst not 
ask it." 

When they had agreed he took a race after the 
maiden, and he was not long gone when he came back. 
" Almighty of the world against thee," said Brian Borr. 
" Dost thou wish to be hanged with a sea of blood 
about thine eyes? I knew he was without a gillie 
in the first of the day the man that hired thee, and 
had he taken my counsel he had not hired thee." 

" I will not do a good turn to-day till the buttons 
come off my bigcoat" Then they got a tailor, and 
the tailor had not as much skill as would take the 
buttons off the greatcoat. Then he took shears out of 
the rim of his little hat, and he took the buttons off 
his greatcoat in a trice. 

Then he took another race afber the maiden, and 
he was not long away when he came back. "Almighty 
of the great world against thee," said Brian Borr. " Dost 
thou wish to be hanged with a sea of blood about 
thine eyes? I knew that he was without a gillie 
in the first of the day the man that hired thee, and 
had he taken my counsel he had not hired thea" 

* " Da dhrian de d^ comhairle." I am not sure of this trans- 



" I wont do a good turn to-day till the buttons go 
on the bigcoat again, for the women will chase ma" 
They got a tailor, and the shears would not cut a grain, 
and the needle would not sew a stitch. Then he got 
shears and a needle himself out of the rim of his Httle hat, 
and he sewed the buttons on the bigcoat again. He took 
another little race after the maiden, and he was not 
long gone when he came back. " Almighty, &c. 
. . . ," said Biian Borr. 

" I will not do a good turn to-day till the thorn in 
my foot comes ouf Then they got a leech, but the 
leech had not sMU enough to take the thorn out of the 
foot Then he himself took out a little iron that he 
had in the rim of his little hat, and he took the thorn 
out of his foot, and the thorn was a foot longer than 
the shank." 

" Oov ! oov !*' said Brian Borr, " that is a wondrous 
matter, the thorn to be longer than the shank." " Many 
a thing," said he, '^ is more wondrous than that ; there 
is good stretching at the end of the joints and bone&" 
Then he took a little race away, and he was not long 
gone when he came back, and he had a wild duck 
roasted on the fire, not a bit burned or raw in her, and 
she was enough for every one within. " This is the 
best turn thou hast done yet," said Brian Borr. 

" I will not do a good turn to-day till I get a 
little wink of sleep." They went to the back of Knock 
Seanan, in Erin, behind the wind and before the sun, 
where they could see each man, and man could not see 
them. He slept there ; and when he awoke, what but 
the maid of Knock Seanan was on the top of the hill ! 
He rose, he struck her a blow of his palm on the ear, 
and he set her head back foremost " Almighty, &c. 
. . . ," said Brian Borr. 

"Set the head right on the maiden."- — "If my 


master asks me that, I will do it, and if he does not 
ask, I will not do it to-day for thea" 

. '^ There she is/' said Muiachadh, '^ and do to her 
as] thou wilt" Then struck he a fist on her, and he 
knocked her brains ont They were not long there 
when they saw a deer and a dog chasing it Out after 
it went they, and the sparks that the hound sent from 
his toes were hitting Murachadh's gillie right in the 
face. The sparks that Murachadh's gillie sent £x)m his 
toes were striking Muràchadh right in the feice, and the 
sparks that Murachadh sent £x)m his toes were hitting 
Donachadh right in the face, and the sparks that 
Donachadh sent &om his toes were hitting Brian Borr 
right in the £ice. In the time of lateness Murachadh 
lost his set of men ; nor fstther, nor brother, nor gillie, 
nor deer, nor dog, was to be seen, and he did not know 
to what side he should go to seek them. Mist came 
on them. 

He thought he would go into the wood to gather 
nuts tiU the mist should go. He heard the stroke 
of an axe in the wood, and he thought that it was 
the man of the little cap and the big bonnet. He went 
down, and it was the man of the little cap who was 
there. Murachadh blessed him ; in the fisniche 
foisniche, soft flowing peaceful words of wisdom ; and 
the youth blessed him in better words ; and if no bet- 
ter they were no worse. " I am thinking, then," said 
the lad, *' that it is of the company of Murachadh Mac 
Brian thou art." " It is," said he. " WeU ! I would 
give thee a night's share for the sake of that man, 
though there should be a man's head at thy belt" 
Murachadh feared that he would ask him to put the 
faggot on his back, and he was right feared that he 
would ask him to carry the axe home, for its siza 
" Good lad," said he, " I am sure thou art tired enough 

■* > ^"*— " ■ ■■ ■^ W^^^^W'^wa^f^p— ii^ I I I. a nu I J I w^i n p ^ i 


thyself after thy trouble and wandering. It is much 
for me to ask thee to lift the faggot on my back ; and 
it is too much to ask thee to take the axe home." 

He went and he lifted the faggot of fuel on his 
own back, he took the axe with him in his hand ; 
they went the two to the house of that man ; and 
that was the grand house ! Then the wife of that 
man brought up a chair of gold, and she gave ^it 
to her own man ; and she brought up a chair of 
silver, and she gave it to Murachadh ; she brought 
up a stoup of wine, and she gave it to Murachadh, 
and he took a drink out of it ; he stretched it to the 
other, and after he had drunk what was in it he 
broke it against the walL They were chatting to- 
gether, and Murachadh was always looking at the 
housewife. " I am thinking myself," said the man of 
the house, that thou art Murachadh Mac Brian's self" 
— " Well, I am." — " I have done thee two discourtesies 
since thou camest to the house, and thou hast done one 
to me. I sat myself in the chair of gold, and I set 
thee in the silver chair ; I broke the drinking cup ; I 
&iled in that I drank a draught from a half-empty 
vessel Thou didst me another discourtesy : thou art 
gazing at my wife there since thou camest into the 
house, and if thou didst but know the trouble I had 
about her, thou wouldst not wonder though I should 
not like another man to be looking at her." " What," 
said Murachadh, " is the trouble that thou hast had 
about her that man had not before, and that another 
man will not have again after thee ?" — " Sleep to-night 
and I will tell thee that to-morrow." — " Not a cloud 
of sleep shall go on mine eye this night till thou tell- 
est me the trouble that thou hast had." 

" I was here seven years with no man with me 


but myself The seanagal (soothsayer) came the way 
one day, and he said to me, if I would go so for as the 
white Sibearta, that I would get knowledge in it I 
went there one fine summer's day, and who was there 
but the Gruagach of the island and the Gruagach 
of the dog setting a combat. The Gruagach of the 
island said to me, if I would go in before her to 
help her, that she would give me her daughter to 
marry when we should go home. I went in on 
her side, I struck a fist on the Gruagach of the 
dog, and I knocked her brains out Myself and the 
Gruagach of the island went home, and a wedding and 
a marriage was made between myseK and her daughter 
that very night ; but, with the hero's fatigue, and the 
reek of the bowl, I never got to her chamber door. 
If the day came early on the morrow, 'twas earlier still 
that my father-in-law arose shouting to me to go to the 
hunting hill to hunt badgers, and vermin, and foxes. 
At the time of lifting the game and laying it down, 
I thought that I had left my own wife without a watch- 
man to look on her. I went home a hero, stout and 
seemly, and I found my mother-in-law weeping ; and 
I said to her, ' What ails thee Ì ' ^ Much ails me, 
that three monks have just taken away the wcmian 
thou didst marry thyself' 

" Then took I the good and ill of that on myself, 
and I took the track of the duck on the ninth mom. 
I feU in with my ship, and she was drawn her own 
seven lengths on dried dry land, where no wind could 
stain, or sun could bum, or the scholars of the big 
town could mock or launch her. I set my back to 
her, and she was too heavy ; but I thought it was 
death before or behind me if I did not get my wife, 
and I set my pith to her, and I put her out I gave 
her prow to the sea, and her stem to the land ; hebn 




in her stem, sails in her prow, tackle to her topes, each 
tope &st and loose, that could make port and anchor- 
age of the sea isle that was there. I anchored my ship, 
and I went up, and what was there but the three 
monks casting lots for my wife. I swept their three 
heads off, I took my wife with me and I set her in the 
stem of the ship ; I hoisted the three speckled flapping 
sails against the tall tough splintery masts. My music 
was the plunging of eels and the screaming of gulls ; 
the biggest beast eating the beast that was least, and 
the beast that was least doing as she might. The bent 
brown buckle that was in the bottom of ocean would play 
haig on its mouth, while she would cut a slender com 
straw before her prow, with the excellence of the steer- 
ing. There was no stop or rest for me, while I drove 
her on till I reached tiie big town of my mother and 
&ther-in-law. Music was raised, and lament laid 
down. There were smooth drunken drinks, and coarse 
drinks drunken. Music in flddle-strings to the ever- 
healing of each disease, would set men under evil eye, 
and women in travail, fast asleep in the great town 
that night. With the hero's fettigue and the reek of 
the bowl, I slept &r from the wife's chamber. 

" K it was early that the day came on the morrow, 
'twas still earlier that my father-in-law arose shouting 
to me to go to the hunting lull to hunt badgers, and 
vermin, and foxes. At the time of lifting the game 
and laying it down, I thought that I had left my own 
wife without a watchman to look on her. I went 
home a hero, stout and seemly, and I found my 
mother-in-law weeping. 'What ails thee to-night 1' 
' Much ails me, that the wet-cloaked warrior has just 
taken away the bride thou didst marry thyself' 

'' Then took I the good and ill of that on myself and 
I took the track of the duck on the ninth mom. I fell 


in with my ship ; I set my back to her, and she was 
00 heavy ; and I set my pith to her and I put her 
out. I gave her prow to tìie sea, and her stem to the 
land ; helm in her stem, saOs in her prow, tackle to 
her ropes, each rope fast and loose, that could make 
a choice port and anchorage of the big town of the 
wet-cloaked warrior. I drew my ship her own seven 
lengths on dried dry land, where wind could not stain, 
or sun bum her ; and where the scholars of the big 
town could not play pranks or launch her. I left my har- 
ness and my spears under the side of the ship ; I went 
up, and a herd fell in with me. * What's thy news 
to-day, herd ] ' said I to him. * Almighty, etc.,' said 
the herd, *if my news is not good, a wedding and 
a marriage between the wet-cloaked warrior and the 
daughter of the Island Gruagach ; and that there is 
neither glad nor sorry in the realm that is not 
asked to the weddiug.' 'If thou wouldst give me 
the patched cloak on thee, I would give thee this 
good coat that I have on, and good pay besides for 
that' ' Almighty, etc. . . . .' ' That is not 
the joy and wonder that I have to take in it before 
the sun rises to sky to-morrow.' I struck him a blow 
of my fist in the midst of his face, and I drove the 
brains in fiery slivers through the back of his head, I 
put on the patched cloak, and up I went, and the men 
had just assembled to the wed(Hng. I thought it was 
lucky to find them gathered. I went amongst them 
as falcon through flock, or as goat up rock, or as a 
great dog on a cold spring day going through a drove 
of sheep. So I would make little bands of large 
bands, hardy ''^ castles which might be heard in the 
four airts of heaven, filaflhÌTìg of blades, shearing 
heroic shields, till I left not one would tell a tale or 

* I cannot make sense of this phrase. 


withhold bad news; how one would be one-legged, 
and one one-handed; and though there were ten 
tongues in their heads, it is telling their own ills and 
the ills of others that they would be. I took with 
me my wife, and I set her in the stem of the boat I 
gave her prow to sea and her stem to land ; I would 
make sail before, and set helm behind. I hoisted the 
three speckled flapping sails against the tail tough 
splintery masts. My music was the plunging of eels 
and the screaming of gulls ; the beast that was biggest 
eating the beast that was least, and the beast that was 
least doing as she might ; the bent brown buckie that 
was at the bottom of the sea would play Haio ! on her 
great mouth, as she would split a slender oat stubble 
straw with the excellence of the steering. 

" We returned to the big town of my father-in-law. 
Music was raised, and lament laid down. There were 
smooth drunken drinks and coarse drinks drunken. 
Music on strings for ever healing each kind of ill, 
would set wounded men and women in travaQ asleep 
in the big town that night With the hero's fiitigue 
and the reek of the bowl, I never got to my bride's 
chamber that night 

" If it was early that the day came on the morrow, 
earlier than that my father-in-law arose shouting to me 
to go to the hunting hill, to go to hunt brocks, and 
vermin, and foxea At the time of lifting the game, 
and of laying it down, I thought that I had left my 
own bride without a watchman to watch over her. I 
went home a hero, stout and seemly, and I found my 
mother-in-law weeping. 'What ails thee?" said L 
' Much ails me,' said she, 'that the great hero, son of the 
King of SoBGHA (light), has just taken the bride that 
thou didst wed, away ; and he was the worst of them 
all for me.' Let it be taken well and ill, that was for 


ma I took the track of the duck on the ninth mom. 
I fell in with my ship ; I set my back to her, and she 
was too heavy for me ; I set my back to her again 
and I set her out. I gave prow to sea, and stem to 
land ; Pd set helm in her stem, and sails in her prow, 
and tackles in her middle against each rope that was 
in her loose and fast, to make choice port and anchor- 
age of the big town of the great hero king of Sorcha. 
I drew my ship her own seven lengths from ebb, on 
dry land, where wind would not stain, and sun would 
not bum, the scholars of the big town could make 
neither plaything or mocking, or launching of her. 

" I went up and a beggar fell in with me. ' What *g 
thy tale to-day, oh beggar V * Mighty of the world be 
against thee ! dost wish to be hanged with a sea of 
blood about thine eyes : great and sood is my tale : a 
wedding aad a man^dng between the great he^, son of 
the king of Sorcha, and the daughter of the island 
Gruagach; and that there is neither glad nor sorry 
in the land that is not called to the wedding,' * If 
thou wouldst give me thy cloak, I would give thee 
good pay and this good coat that I have on for it.* 
'Mighty of the world, thou beast, dost wish to be 
hanged with a sea of blood about thine eyes 1' * That 
is not the wonder and joy that I am to get from it, 
before the sun rises in heaven to-morrow.' I stmck 
him a blow of my fist in the midst of his &ce, and I 
drove the brain in flinders of flame through the back 
of his head. The bride knew somehow that I would 
be there, and she asked that the beggars should 
first be served. I sat myself amidst the beggars ; 
and each that tried to take bit from me, I gave him 
a bruise 'twixt my hand and my side ; and Fd leave 
him there, and I'd catch the meat with the one of 
my hands, and the drink with the other hand. Then 


some one said that the big beggar was not letting 
a bit to the heads of the other beggars. The bride 
said^ to be good to the beggars, and they them- 
selves would be finished at last. AVhen all the beg- 
gars had enough they went away, but I lay myself 
where I was. Some one said that the his hessax had 
laid down drunk The man of the weddinglaid, to 
throw the beast out at the back of a hiU, or in the 
shelter of a dyke, till what was in his maw should ebb. 
Five men and ten came down, and they set their hand 
to lifting me. On thy two hands, oh Murachadh ; but 
it was easier for them to set Cairn a Choinnich in 
Erin from its base, than to raise me from the earth. 
Then came down one of the men that was wiser than 
the rest ; I had a beauty spot, and there never was 
man that saw me once but he would know me again. 
He raised the cap and he knew who it was, That for- 
tune should help you here to-night! ^Here is the 
upright of Glen feite, the savage* MacaUain, pitiless, 
mercUess, fearless of God or man, unless he would fear 
Murachadh Mac Brian.' AVhen I myself heard that, 
I rose to put on my tackling for battling and combat ; 
I put on my charmed praying shirt of satin, and smooth 
yellow silk stretched to my skin, my cloudy coat 
above the golden shirt, my kindly coat of cotton above 
the Mndly cloak, my boas-covered hindering sharp- 
pointed shield on my left side, my hero's hard slasher 
in my right hand, my spawn of narrow knives in my 
belt, my helm of hardness about my head to cover 
my comely crown, to go in the front of strife, and the 
strife to go after it ; I put on my hindering, dart-hin- 
dering resounding mail, without a flaw, or without 
outlet, blue -grey, bright blue, " leudar leothar." 

* Feamanach, — Feaman means a tail, but whether this 
means the man with the tail or not, I do not know. 


Lochliner, the long-light and high-minded ; and I left 
not a man to tell tale or withhold bad news. If there 
was not one on one foot, and one one-handed, and 
though there were ten tongues in their heads, it is 
telling their own ills, and the iUs of the rest that they 
would be. I took my bride with me, I set her in the 
ship, I hoisted the three speckled flapping sails against 
the tall tough splintery trees. My music was the plung- 
ing of eels and screaming of gulls ; the beast that was 
biggest eating the beast that was least, and the beast 
that was least doing as it might ; the bent brown 
buckie that was in the bottom of the sea she would 
play Haig on her mouth as she would split a slender 
oat stubble before her prow, with the excellence of the 
steering. Twas no stop or stay for me, as I drove 
her on till I reached the big town of my father-in-law." 
" That was my first rest, Murachadh, and is it won- 
drous that I dislike any man to be gazing at her?" 
" Indeed, it is not wonderful," said Murachadh. 
Murachadh lay down that night, and he found himself 
on the morrow in the tower of Chinneooibe in Erin, 
where were his father and his grandfather ; and the 
deer and the dog, and his father and his brother, were 
in before him. 


Bha tritiir dhaoine ann an duthaich Ghinn a Choire ann an 
Eirinn; V e sin Morchadh Mac Brian, agus Donnachadh Mac 
Brian, agos Brian Bòrr an athair. Fhuair iad caireadh a dhol 
ga dinneir ga h-àite ris an abradh iad Magh O Dòma. Thng 
iad leotha tri fichead sgian, agos tri fichead srian, agos tri fichead 
each duas-dearg, geal. Shnidh iad aig a' choinn, 's cha luaith 
shuidh iad aig a^ chuirm, na chnnnaic iad gruagach Chnoc Seanain 
an Eirinn a' dol seachad. Siod amach gabhaidh Mnrchadh ; siod a 


mach gabhaidh Donnacbadb ; agns siod a mach gabhaidh Brian 
Bòrr, an athair 'nan dèigh. Gha b' fbada 'bha iad air folbh nor a 
cbunnaic iad òlacb mòr a' tigbinn 'nan coinneamh. Bbeannaicb 
Brian Bòrr e ann am briathran fisnicbe, foisniche, file, mile, citiin 
an seanachas. Fhreagair esan ann am briathran a b' f heàrr, 's mar 
am V iad a b' f heàrr cha b' iad a bu mheasa. ** De 'n daine thnsa ?" 
ursa Brian Bòrr. *' Is gille math mi ag iarraidh maighstir." « Uile 
chumhachdan an t-saoghail a' t' aghaidh a bhiasd ; am mail leat do 
chrochadh is sian fala ma t' shhilean ; 's f hada bbithinn f h^in mam 
fasdainn tha aig do mheud." «'S coma leam cò-aca; dh' fhaoidte 
gum fasdadh Murchadh mi." Ràinig e Murchadh, 's bheannaich 
Mnrchadh e ann am briathran fisniche foisniche, file, mile, ciùin an 
seanachas. Fhreagair an t-òlach e ann am briathran a b* fheàrr, 's 
mar am b' iad a b' f hearr cha b' iad a bu mheasa. ** De 'n duine 
thusa?" ursa Murchadh. <*'S gille math mi 'g iarraidh maighstir," 
urs* esan. ** De 'n tuarasdal a bhios thu 'g iarruidh ?" " Da dhrian 
de d' ckomhairle gus an d' thig sin o ruith na gruagaich, 's gun 
a bhi agad fèin ach an t-aon.*' <*Ma gheobh thusa sin," ursa 
Murchadh, '* cha d' f huair fear romhad e, 's cha 'n f haigh fear a' d' 
dheigh e ; ach 's cinnteach mar am b' airidh thu air nach iarradh 
thu e." 

Nur a chord iad thug e roid an d^igh na gruagaich, 's cha b' f hada 
'bha e air folbh nur a thill e. " Uile chumhachdan an t-saoghail a' 
t' aghaidh," ursa Brian Bòrr, " am math leat do chrochadh is sian 
fala ma t' shiiilean? dh' aithnichmi gun robh e gun ghille, toiseach 
an latha, am fear a dh' fhasdaidh thu, 's nan gabhadh e mo chomh- 
airlesa cha 'n f hasdadh e thu." " Cha dean mi turn math an diugh 
gus an d' thig na g^ineagan bhàr a' chòta mhòìr." Fhnair iad an 
siod tàilleir, 's cha robh de dh' innleachd aig an tàiUear na 'bhèireadh 
na g^ineagan bhàr a' chbta mhbir. Thug e 'n sin siosar a mach a 
bile na h-ata bige, 's thug e na g^ineagan bhar a chòta mhòir ann 
am mionaid. Thug e roid an sin am dèigh na gruagaich a rithisd, 's 
cha b' fbada bha e air folbh nur a thill e. '* Uile chumhachdan an 
t-saoghail a' t* aghaidh," ursa Brian Bbrr, ** am mail leat do chroch- 
adh is sian fala ma t' shiiilean ; dh' aithnich mi gun robh e gun ghille 
toiseach an latha am fear a dh' fhasdaidh thu, 's na 'n gabhadh e mo 
chomhairlesa cha d' fhasdaidh e thu." ** Cha dean mi turn math an 
diugh gus an d' th^id na g^ineagan air a chòta mhòr a rithisd; no ma 
chi mnathan a' bhaile mi bidh a h-uile te dhiu as mo dheigh." Fhuair 
iad tàiUear, 's cha ghearradh a shiosar gr^im, 's cha 'n f huaigheadh a 
shnàthad beum. Thug e fheln an sin siosar is snkthad a bile na 
h-ata bige, 's chuir e na gèineagan air a' chòta mhòr a rithisd. Thug 


e roid blieag eile an d^h na gmagaich, 's cha b' f hada 'bha e air 
folbh nor a thill e. " Uile dmmhachdan an t-saoghail a' t* agfaaidh," 
una Brian Bòrr^ ** dh* aithnich mi gun robh e gun ghilletoìBeach an 
latha am fear a dh* f basdaidh thu, 's na*n gabhadh e mo chombairlesa 
cba d' f basdaidh e thu.** ** Cha dean mi turn math an diugh gus an 
d' thig am bior a th' ann a'm' chois aisde.** Fhuair iad an siodlèigh, 
'a cha robh do dh* innleachd aig an lèigh na bheireadh am bior as a 
chois. Thug e f^in ianmn beag a bh* aige am bile na h-ata bige 
a machy 's thug e *m bior as a chois, 's bha *m bior troigh na b* f haide 
na*n lurga. "Ubht nbhl" urea Brian Bòrr, '^'s iongantach an 
gnothach sin, am bior a bhi na b* f haide na 'n lurga I " <* 'S iom- 
adh,'* urs' esan, *< rud is iongantaiche na sin ; tha sineadh math an 
ceann nan alt *s nan cnàmh." Thug e roid bheag air folbh an sin, 's 
cha b' fhada *bha e air folbh nur a thill e, 's lach aig air a ròsdadh 
air an teine, 's gun bhall loisgte na amh innte, 's bha sàith a h- 
uile duine stigh innte. '* 'S e so turn is f hearr a a rinn thu f hathasd," 
nrsa Brian Bòrr. 

" Cha dean mi turn math an diugh gus am faigh mi luchdan beag 
cadail." Dh* f holbh iad air chhl Chnoc Seanain an Eirinn, ùr 
chhl gaotha, 's air aghaidh gr^ine far am faioeadh iad gach duine 'a 
nach fidceadh duine iad. Chaidil e 'n sin, *8 nur a dhtdsg d4 'bha 
ach gruagach Chnoc Seanain air mullach a' chnoic. Dh' èiridh e, 's 
bhuail e buille d'a bhois urra 'sa chluais, 's chuir e 'n ceann chl air 
bheul-thaobh. *' Uile chumhachdan an t-saoghail a' t' aghaidh,'* 
ursa Brian Bòrr, **am mail leat do chrochadh is nan fala ma t' 
shixilean. Cuir an ceann gu ceart air a* gtiruagaich." " Ma dh' iarraa 
mo mhaighstir sin orm ni mi e, 's mar an iarr cha dean mi 'n diugh 
air do shons' e." ** Sin agad i," ursa Murchadh, ** 's dean do roghainn 
rithe." Bhuail e 'n sin a dhòm urra, 's chuir e 'n t-ionachuinu 

Cha b' fhada 'bha iad an sin nur a chnnnaic iad fiadh, agus gadhar 
'ga *ruith. Mach as a dhèigh gabhaidh iad ; 's na spreadan a bha *n 
gadhar a' cur as a ladharan, bha iad a bualadh gille Mhurchaidh an 
dkr an aodainn ; na spreadan a bha gille Ifhurchaidh a' cur a a 
ladharan, bha iad a* bualadh Ifhurchaidh an dàr an aodainn ; 's na 
spreadan a bha Murchadh a' cur as a ladharan, bha iad a bualadh 
Dhonnachaidh an clàr an aodainn ; *8 na spreadan a bha Donnach- 
adh a* cur a a ladharan, bha iad a bualadh Bhrian Bòrr an dkr an 
aodainn. An am an anamoich chaill Murchadh a chuid daoine. Cha 
robh 'athair, na bhrathair, na 'ghille, na 'm fiadh, na 'n gadhar r'a 
f haidnn ; 's cha robh fios aige d^ 'n taobh a rachadh e a *n iarraidh. 
Thàinig ceo orra. 


Smaointich e gun raòhadh e stigh do 'n choille 'chmlhneacbadb 
chnutluui gas am folbhadh an ceo. Chnal e buille tuaigh anns a' 
choille, is smaointich e gum Ve fear na h<-ata bige 's na boinneide 
moire bh' ann. Ghabh e sios, *8 is e fear atan bhig a bh' ann. 
Bheannaich Murchadh e ann am briathran fisniche, foisniche, file, 
nùle, cihin an seanachas ; 's f hreagair an t-òlach e ann am briathran 
a b' f heàrr, 's mar am b-iad a b' f heàrr cha b' iad a bu mheasa. *' Tha 
diul' am f^/' urs' an t-òlach sin, '*gur h-ann do chuideachd 
Ifhurchaidh Mhic Brian thu." ^ *S ann," urs* esan. '* Mata bheir- 
innsa cuid na h-oidhche dhnit fiirson an duine sin, ged a bhiodh ceann 
dnine air do chrios." Bha eagal air Murchadh gun iarradh e air a' 
chual a chur air a' mhuinn^ 's bha ra eagal air gun iarradh e air an 
tuagh a ghihlan dachaidh aig a meud. *'6hille mhath," urs' esan, 
« tha ml dnnteach gu' bheil thu f^n g\è sgith an dèigh t' allabain is 
t' ànraidh. Tha e mbr learn iarraidh ort a' chual a thogail air mo 
mhuinn, 's tha e ra mhòr leam iarruidh ort an tuagh a thoirt dach- 

Dh' f holbh e *s thog e chual chonnaidh air a mhuinn fein ; thug e 
leis an tuagh 'na làimh ; dh' f holbh iad 'nan dithisd gu tigh an duine 
sin, 's b' e sin an tigh ciatach. Thug, an sin, bean an duine sin a 
nios cathair bir, 's thug i d*a fear fein i ; 's thug i nios cathairairgid, 
's thug i do MhuTchadh 1. Thug i nios stòpan f ion, 's thug i do 
Mhurchadh e, 's thuge deoch as. Shin e do 'n f hear eile e, 's an d^igh 
dhàsan na bh' ann 61 bhrisd e ris a bhall' e. 

Bha iad a' seanachas cbmhla, 's bha Murchadh daonnan ag amh- 
arc air bean an tighe. ** Tha dtdl' am f^in," ursa fear an tighe, ** gur 
tu Murchadh Mac Brian fein." "Mata 's mi." "Rinn mise da 
mhiomhodh ortsao'n athàinig thu thun an tighe, 's rinn thusa h-aon 
ormsa. Shuidh mi f^in anns a' chathair òir, 's chuir mi thusa anns 
a chathair airgid. Bhrisd mi 'n com dibhe; bha de dh' easbhuidh 
orm gun deoch 61 a soitheach leith fhalamh. Binn thusa miomhodh 
eile ormsa ; tha thu 'g amharc air a' mhnaoi sin agam, o'n a thainig 
thu thun an tighe, 's na 'm biodh f hios agad na f huair mi 'dhragh 
lithe, cha bhiodh iongantas ort ged nach bu mhail leam duine 
eile 'bhi 'g amharc urra." "D^," ursa Murchadh, ''an dragh a 
f huair thusa rithe, nach d' f huair fear romhad, 's nach f haigh 
fear eile a'd' dheigh ? " ** Caidil a nochd 's innsidh mi sin duit a 
màireach." *' Cha d' th^d neul cadail air mo shud a nochd, gus an 
innis thu dhomh d4 'n dragh a fhuair thu rithe." 

''Bha mi'n so seachd bliadhna gun duine leam ach mi fein. 
ThMnig an seanaghal latha an rathad, 's thuirt e rium na 'n rachainn 
gnsanruigan sibearta geal gum faighinn fiosrachadh ann. Dh' 


fholbh mi 'n sin latha bbidheach samhraidli, 's co' bh* ann ach groag- 
ach an eilean, 's grnagach a ghadhair a' cur blàir. Thuirt gruagach 
an eilean riam na'n racbainn a stigh air a h-aghaidh a chuideacbadh 
leatba, gan d' thngadb i dhomh a nigbean r*a pbsadb nur a rach- 
amaid dbacbaidb. Cbaidb mi stigb air a beultbaobb. Bbuail mi 
dòrn air gruagacb a gbadbair 's cbuir mi 'n t-ionacbuion aisde. 
Cbaidb mi fèin agus gmagacb an eilean dbacbaidb, *s rinneadh 
banais agus pbsadb eadar mi f^ agus a nigbean an oidbcbe sin 
fein-; acb le s^os a^ gbaisgicb, 's atbar na pòit,cba d' fbuair mise dol 
a laidbe leatba an oidbcbe sin. Ma 's mocb a tbàinig an latba an la 
*r na mbkireacb, bu mboicbe na sin a db' ^iridb m' atbair c^ile a 
gblaodbacb rium, a dbol do 'n bbeinn sbeilg a dbol a sbealg bbrocbd^ 
uilc, agus sbionnacb. An am togail na sitbinn agus a leagalacb 
smaointicb mi gun d' f bag mi mo bbean fèin gun fear faire na 
coimbid urra. Cbaidb mi dbacbaidb mar cburaidb ro cbalma, 's 
fbuair mi mo mbàtbab: cbeile 'caoineadb, *s tbuirt mi ritbe, ** D4 th* 
ort ? " " *S mbr a tb* orm ; an tribbr mbanacb an d^igb a' bbean od 
a pbbs tbu f^in a tboirt air folbb." 

Gbabb mi olc 's a mbatb siod orm f^iu, 's gbabb mi lorg na lach 
air an naoidbeamb tràtb. Tbacbair mo long orm, 's bba i air a tarr- 
uinn a seacbd fad f^in air fearann tioram, tràìgbte, far nacb dubbadb 
gaoitb, agus nacb loisgeadb grian, 's nacb dèanadb sgoilearan baile 
mboir magadb na fochaid urra. Cbuir mi mo dbiiom ritbe, 's bba 
i ra tbrom ; acb smaointicb mi gum bu bbàs rombam na 'm dbeigb- 
inn e mar am faigbinn mo bbean, *s cbuir mi mo spionnadb riUie, 'a 
cbuir mi macb i. Tbug mi 'toiseacb do mbuir 's a' deireadb do tbir; 
stibir 'na deireadb ; siuil 'na toiseacb ; 's beairt na buill ; agbudh 
gacb buill ceangailt, agus foasgailt'; a' deanadb cala agus acarsaid 
do db' eilean mara 'bba sin. 

Db' acraicb mi mo long, 's gbabb mi suas ; 's dè 'bba 'sin 
acb an tribir mbanacb a' cur crann feucb co leis aca bbiodb i 
'san oidbcbe. Sgriob mi na tri cinn diu; tbug mi leam mo 
bbean; 's cbuir mi ann an deireadb na luing i. Tbog mi na tri 
sibil bbreaca, bbaidealacb an aodann nan crann fada, fulannacb, 
fibigbidb. 'Se bu cbeòl dbomb plubarsaicb easgann, 's b^iceardaich 
f baoileann ; a' bbèisd a bu mbotba 'g itbeadb na b^isd a bu lugba, 
's a' bbèisd a bu lugba deanadb mar a db' f baodadb i. An f baocbag 
cbrom, chiar a bba 'n grunnd an aigean, bbeireadh i haig air a beul 
mbr. Gbearradb i cuinnlean coirce romb a toiseacb le feobbas an 
stibraidb. Cba bu stad 's cba b' f bois dbomb, 's mi 'ga 'caitbeadb, 
gus an d' ràìnig mi baile-mbr mo mbàtbair cbeile agus m' atbair 
c^ile. Thogadb an cebl, 's leagadb am brbn. Bba deocbanna mine. 


misgeach, ^s deochanna garbha 'gan gabhail : cebl ann an tendan 
fiodhlacb, a' sior leigbeas gach galair, a chuireadh fir gbointe ague 
mnathan sibbhla 'nan cadal air a mhbr-bbaile an oidhche sin. Le 
athar na pòìt, 's le agios a' gbaisgicb, cha do laidh mise leis a' bhean 
an oidhche sin. 

Ma ba mhoch a thàinig an latha an la 'r na mhàireach, bn 
mhoiche na sin a dh' èiridh m' athair ceile a ghlaodhach rium fein a 
dhol do 'n bheinn sheilg, a dhol a shealg bhrochd, is uilc, is shionnach. 
An am togail na sithinn is a leagalach, smaointich mi fèin gan d' 
fhàg mi mo bhean gnn fear faire na fear choimhead urra.Ghabh 
mi dhachaidh a'm' choraidh ro chahna, 's f haair mi mo mhàthair 
chèile 'caoineadh. " Dè th' ort a nochd?" 'S mòr a th' orm, Macan na 
Falloinne flaiche an dèigh a' bhean ud a phòs thu fein a thoirt air 

Ghabh 'mi a mhath is olc siod orm fein. Ghabh mi lorg an lach 
air an oaoidheamh tràth. Thachair mo long orm. Choir mi mo 
dhiiom rithe, 's bha i ra throm learn. Chair mi mo dhriom rithe a 
rithisd, 's choir mi mach i. Thog mi 'toiseach do mhoir, 's a deireadh 
do thir. Dheanamn stiair 'na deireadh, sioil 'na toiseach ; 's beairt 
'na buill ; aghaidh gach boill a bh' innte ceangailt' agos foasgailt'; a' 
deànadh rogha cala agus acarsaid do Bhaile-mbr Macan na Falloinne 
flioiche. Tharroinn mi mo long a seachd fad fein air fearann tioram, 
tràìghte, far nach dobhadh gaoith, 's nach loisgeadh grian, 's nach 
deanadh sgoilearan baile-mhòir culaidh mhagaidh na f hochaid di. 
Dh' f hag mi mo luirg 's mo shleaghan fo thaobh na loinge. Chaidh 
mi soas, 's thachair boachaill' orm. T>è do naigheachd an diogh a 
bhuachaille ? thoirt mi ris. *' Uile chomhachdan an t-saoghail a' 
t' aghaidh a bhiasd, am math leat do chrochadh is sian fala ma 
t' shUilean ; 's mòr 's is math mo naigheachd ; banais agos pbsadh 
eadar Macan na Falloinne flioiche 's nighean groagach an eilean, 's 
nach 'eil mhime na maird 'san rioghachd nach 'eil coireadh aca 
than na bainnse." Nan d' thogadh tho dhomh an lUireach sin ort, 
bheirinn doit an cbta math so 'th' orm f^in, 's pàigheadh math a 
thoillidh air an sin." *' Uile chamhachdan an t-saoghail a' t' aghaidh 
a bhiasd, am math leat do chrochadh is sian fala ma t' shhilean ; cha 
'n e sin aighear agos ioghnadh a th' agam fein r'a ghabhail aisde ma 
'n ^irich grian air athar am màireach." Bhoail 'mi boill de m' dhom 
air an clàr an aodainn 's choir mi 'n t'-ionachainn 'na choibeauan 
teine trid chhl a chinn. 

Chair mi orm an Ihireach, 's ghabh mi soas, 's bha na daoine an 
d^igh croinneachadh than na bainnse. Smaointich mi gon robh e 
fortanach dhomh am faotainn cniinn. Ghabh mi na 'm measg mar 


sheobhaig romh ealt, nsmar ghobhair ri creig, na mar chu mbr aim 
an latha fuar Earraich a* dol romh thread chaorach. Sm mar a 
dheknainn bnidhmchean beaga do bhuidhnichean mora ; caistdl 
cbròdha 'chluiimt 'an ceithir àirdean an athair ; slachdarsaich lann 
a' gearradh nan sgiath sonnalach; gns nach d* fhàg mi fear mnaidh 
tgeoil JUL chumadh tnaùisgenl; mar am biodh fear air leith-chois 'a 
£ear air leith-lkimh, 's ged a bhiodh deich teangannan 'nan ceann 
's ann aig innseadh an uilc f^in is nilc chàich a bhitheadh iad. Thng 
mi learn mo bhean £^, 'a choir mi ann an deireadh na luing L Thng 
mi 'toiseach do mhnir 's a deireadh do thir. Dheànainn sihil 'na 
toiseach, stinir 'na deireadh. Thog mi na tri aihil bhreaca, bhaidealach 
an aodann nan crann fada, folannach, fiogliaidh. 'S e ba chebl 
dhomh plnbarsaich easgann, ab^iceardaichfhaoileann; a' bh^isd a 
ba mhotha 'g itheadh na b^isd a bu Ingha, 's a' bhèisd a bn Ingha 
'deanadh mar a dh* f haodadh L An fhaochag chrom, chiar a bha 'n 
gnmnd an aigean bheireadh i haig air a benl mòr. Ghearradh i 
cainnlean caol coirce le feobhaa an stiiuraidh. Thill sinn gn baile 
mbr m' athair cèile. Thogadh an ceòl 's leagadh am brbn. Bha 
deochanna mine, misgeach, s deochanna garbha 'gan gabhail ; ceòl 
air teudan, a' sior leigheas gach seorsa galair, a chnireadh fir ghointe 
agas mnathan sinbhia 'nan cadal air a' mhbr-bhaile an oidhche sin. 
Le sgios a ghaisgich, agos le athar na pbit, cha do laidh mise le m' 
mhnaoi an oidhche sin. 

Ma bu mhoch a thkinig an latha an la 'r na mhàireach, bn mhoiche 
na sin a dh' èiridh m' athair cèile a ghlaodhach rium a dhol do "n 
bheinn sheilg, a dhol a shealg bhrochd, is nilc, is shionnach. An am 
togail na sithinn is a leagalach, smaointich mi gnn d' f hitg mi mo 
bhean fèin gon f hear faire na iiiar choimhead nrra. Dh' f holbh mi 
dhacbaidh mar choraidh ro chalma, 's fhaair mi mo mhàthair chdile 
'caoineadh. D^ th' ort ? ** 'Smbr sin, Macan mòr mac ligh na Sorcha 
an d^igh a' bhean ud a phbs thn f^in a thoirt air folbh." Is e bn 
mheasa learn aca. Ghabhtar a mhath is olc siod orm fein. Ghabh 
mi lorg an lach air an naoidheamh tràth. Thachair mo long onn. 
Chuir mi mo dhriom rithe, 's bha i ra throm leam. Chair mi mo 
dhriom rithe a rithisd, 's chuir mi mach i. Thug mi 'toiseach do 
mhuir 's a deireadh do thir. Dhèanainn stiuir 'na deireadh ; sihil 'na 
toiseach; 's beairt na buillsgean; aghaidh gach buill a bh' innte 
fuasgailt' agus ceangailte ; a' deanadh rogha cala agus acarsaid do 
bhaiie-mòr Macan mbr righ na Sorcha. Tharruinn mi mo long a 
seachd fad f^in o thràigh air fearann tioram, far nach dnbhadh gaoith, 
's nach loisgeadh grian, 's nach deanadh sgoilearan baile-mhòir 
culaidh bhiiird, na mhagaidh, na f hochaid dL 


Ghabh mi snas 's thachair bleidire orm. ** D4 do naigheachd an 
dingh a bhleidire?" ^ Cumhachdan an t-saoghail a' t* agliaidh; am 
mail leat do chrochadh is sian fala ma t' shtiilean ? 's mòr agus is 
math mo naigheachd ; banaia agus pòsadh eadar Macan mbr ligh na 
Sorcha agus nighean gmagach an eilean; *8 nach 'eil mhirne na 
mairde 'san ùr nach 'dl air an cuireadh than na bainnse." ** Nan d* 
thngadh thn f^ dhomh do Ihireach, bheirinn dhoit paigheadh math, 
agUB an cota math so th' orm air a son?" ** Cumhachdan an 
t-saoghail a' t' aghaidh a bhiasd ; am mail leat do chrochadh agus 
sian fiila ma t' shtiilean ; cha *n e sin aighear agus ioghnadh a th' 
agam fdin r'a ghabhail aisde ma 'n ^irich grian air athar am 
màireach.^ Bhuail mi buille do m* dhòm air an clàr an aodainn, 's 
chuir mi *n t-ionachainn 'na chhibeanan teine tAd chhl a chinn. Bha 
f Mos aig bean na bainns' air altaigin gum bithinn ann, 's dh' iarr 
i na bleidirean a riarachadh an toiseach. Shuidh mi fèin am meadhon 
nam bleidirean, *s a h-uile fear a theannadh ri nùr a thoirt uam 
bheirinn bruthadh dha eadar mo làmh 's mo thaobh, 's dh' f hàgainn 
an siod e, 's cheapainn am biadh leis an dama Ikmh, 's an deoch leis 
an làìmh eile. lliuirt cuideigin nach robh am bleidire mòr a leigeil 
mir an ceann nam bleidirean eile. Thuirt bean na bainnse iadsan a 
bhi math do na bleidirean, 's gam biodh iad f^in r^idh air a' cheann 
ma dheireadh. Nur a f huair na bleidirean air fad an lebir dh' f holbh 
iad, ach laidh mi f^in far an robh mi Thuirt cuideigin gun robh am 
bleidire mòr an dèigh laidhe air an daoraich, 's thuirt fear na bainnse 
a* bhiasd a thilgeil a mach air chl cnoic na 'n sgkth ^rraidh, gut 
an traoghadh e na bha 'na bhrainn. Thàinig còig deug de na daoine 
hiuas, 's thug iad làmh air mi f^in a thogail. Air do dha làìmh a 
Mhurchaidh gum b' f hasa dhaibh Cam a Choinnich an Eirinn a chura 
a bhonn na mise 'thogail o 'n talamh* Thàinig h-aon de na daoine 
'bn ghlioe na ch^ile nuas, bha ball seirc orm, s cha robh duine 
ehunnaic riamh mi nach aithneachadh a rithisd mi, 's thog e 'a 
currachd, 's dh' aithnich e co 'bh'ann. ^ Gun cuideachadh am fortan 
leibh an so a nochd. Tha 'n so Direach Ghleann fèite Macallain, 
am feamanach gun iochd, gun trocair, gun eagal Ni Math, na duine ; 
mar an dèanadh e do Bfhurchadh Mac Brian e." 

Nur a chuala mi {iin siod dh' ^idh mi dhol ann a'm' threallaich- 
ean cath agus comhraig. Chuir mi orm mo Mine sheuntaidh, sheumh 
de 'n t-srbl 's de 'n t-sioda shleamhuinn bhuidhe, sinte ri m' chrai- 
donn ; mo chòta neamallach air uachdar na h-br l^e ; mo chbta 
caomh ootain air uachdar a chaomh bhroitinn ; mo sgiath bhucaideach, 
bhacaideach, bharra-chaol air mo thaobh cli ; mo shiachdanta cruaidh 
cnraidh ann a'm' làimh dhda; m' iuchair . aginnicbdinn chaol air mo 


cbrios ; mo chlogada cruadhach ma m* cheann a dhion mo mhaise 
mhnllaich, a dhol an toiseach na h-iorguill, 's an iorguill a' dol 'na 
deireadh. Chuir mi onn mo liiireach thorantach, sbith thorantach, 
chorra-ghleusda, gun f hbtas, na gun os, ghormghlas, ghormghlan, 
leudar, lebthar, Lochlannach, f hada, aotxom, inntinneach ; *s cha d* 
f hag mi fear innsidh sgeoil na chumadh tuairisgeul ; mar am biodh 
fear air leith-chois ann, 's fear air leith-làìmh, 's ged a bhiodh deich 
teangannan 'nan ceann, 's ann aig innseadb an uilc fein is nilc chàich 
a bhitheadh iad. 

Thug mi learn mo bhean 's chuir mi 'san luing i. Thog mi na tri 
Biùil bhreaca, bhaidealach an aodann nan cranna fada, fulannach, 
fitighaidh. 'S e bu chebl dhomh plubarsaich easgann, 's b^ioeardaich 
f haoileann ; a bh^isd a bu mhotha aig itheadh na b^isd a bu lugha, 
's a bheisd a bu lugha a' dèanadh mar a dh' f haodadh i. An 
f haochag chrom, chiar a bha 'n grunnd an aigean bheireadh i haig 
air a beul mòr. Gbearradh i cuinlean coirce romh a toiseach le 
feobhas an stiiiraidh. Cha bu stad 's cha b' f hois dhbmh, 's mi 'ga 
caitheadh, gus an d* rkinig mi baile-mòr m' athair c^ile. Sin agad a' 
chiad oidhche a f huair mise le m' bhean a Mhurchaidh, 's am b ion 
gantach ged nach bu mhail learn duine aam bith a bhith 'g amharc 
orra. " 6n dearbh cha b' iongantach/' ursa Murchadh. Chaidh 
Mnrchadh an oidhche sin a laidbe, 's f huair e e f^in an Ik'r na mhàir- 
each ann an thr Chinn a Choire ann an Eirinn, far an robh athair 
agus a sheanair ; 's am fiadb, 'a an gadhar, is athair, 's a' bhrkthair 
a stigh air thoiseach tir. 

This tale was taken down in May 1859, from the recitation 
of Donald Shaw, then aged sixty-eight, a pauper, living at 
Ballygrant in Islay, who was in the 42d Highlanders at 
Waterloo. He served in the army about three years. He said 
that he had learned it from one Duncan MacMillan, a Colon say 
man, well advanced in years, about fifty years ago. On the 6th 
of July, Hector MacLean wrote : — '* Shaw died a few days ago, 
and 80 far as I can ascertain, there is none in Islay, Jura, or 
Colonsay, that can recite the same tale now." 

I have oply met with one man who knew it by this name ; 
MacPhie, at the Sound of Benbecula, a very old man, who gave 
me the outlitie of it. Some of the language is exceedingly 
difficult ; some words none of us can make out ; and MacPhie's 
version, and most of his storiep, were full of such language . 

The tale then is -found in Islay and South Uist, and traced to 


Colonsajf and is certainly about fifty years old. I have several 
other tales which resemble it in some degree. 

The little hat with everything in it, and the great coat and 
buttons, are Irish. There is mach commanication between 
Ireland and the Isles at this day. The language spoken on the 
opposite coasts is all but identical, and this is probably common 
.to Ireland and the Isles. 

There is something like it in Mr. Simpson's book ; and some 
of his words resemble words in this story, and seem to have 
puzzled the Irish translators as much as they have puzzled me. 
The phrase, "As a falcon through a flock of birds," is in Mr. 
Simpson's work. The man with the bundle of wood is something 
like the giant in Grimms' Valiant Tailor. The servant who drew 
a thorn longer than his leg out of his foot, may be some super- 
natural personage. The measured prose descriptions of sailing, 
arming, and fighting, are common all over the West Highlands 
amongst the eldest and poorest men, and similar passages occur 
.in manuscripts. 

For descriptions of costume and for language, the tale is very 
curious, and worth the labour bestowed on it, which is consi- 
derable. I have endeavoured to translate closely, and at the 
same time to imitate this tale ; but it is a very weak attempt, I 
well know. 

The manners described are partly those of the day. The 
politeness and discourtesy in the house of the man with the little 
hat, are purely Highland. The breaking of the tumbler is a mark 
of great respect ; no meaner lip should touch the glass drained to 
an honoured guest ; but the glass must be first filled and emptied 
— no half cups are allowed. The best seat should be the guest's. 
The telling of the story in the evening is the real amusement of 
the poorer classes now, and used to be much more common. 

The description of the sailing of a boat amongst the fish and 
birds is true to nature ; so is the expression the track of the dtick; 
none but a man familiar with the habits of birds on a sea-coast 
could think of such a phrase. Ducks feed on shore, and return 
to the sea at daylight. 

The .experience of the old soldier probably makes the drink 
wine, not whisky ; and Sibearta is probably white Siberia, de- 
rived from the same source ; if not, I can make nothing of it. 


The dress described may be the old dress of the Isles, as de- 
picted on tombstones, with a cotton coat slipped in. In an ac* 
count of the Danes and Norwegians in England and Ireland, by 
J. J. A. Worsaae, London, 1852, it is stated that Magnns Barfod 
sat himself at the helm while his ship was drawn over the 
Peninsula of Tarbet (draw-boat) ; acquired the sovereignty of the 
Western Isles ; and adopted the dress generally worn there, 
" They went about the streets (in Norway) with bare legs, and 
wore short coats and cloaks, whence Magnus was called by his 
men, Barfod or Barbeen (barefoot or barelegs)," says the Ice- 
landic historian, Snorro Sturleson, who, as well known, lived in 
the first half of the thirteenth century. It is remarkable enough 
that this is the oldest account extant of the well-known Scotch 
Highland dress, whose antiquity is thus proved." 

The tale might be taken partly from the Odyssey. The man 
disguised as a beggar, going to a wedding where his own wife 
was the bride, and where he knocks out the brains of a beggar 
with a single blow, and makes a general slaughter afterwards, is 
very like Ulysses, Penelope, Irus, and the Suitors, but similar 
incidents are common in popular tales. There is a story in 
the Decameron which somewhat resembles the incident of the 
wife carried away. On the whole, I think this story is a remnant 
of an old bardic composition, of which very little remains. 

The word GnuAaACH is here used both for a maiden and for a 
woman with a daughter ; it usually means a maiden^ rarely a 
chief; sometimes it seems to mean a conjuror^ or philosopher, or 
instructor ; ofiten the being called Brownie. It probably means 
any one with long hair ; from gbuao, the hair of the head. 


Allaban Anradh, painful, wandering. 

Athar na Poit, the evil effect of drinking. 

Beart na buil, tackle in her ropes. 

Beucarsaioh, screaming. 

Brochd agus Olk, badgers and evil creatures, vermin. 

Bucaidach, pimply, boss covered, or perhaps hollow. 

Oala agus Acarsaid, port and anchorage. 

Cnock Seanaw, (?) Hill of Jewels, from sean or seun, a jewel. 


Cravna fada FxTLAmrACH, trees or masts, long-enduring. 

File, Mils, soft, fluent. 

FiSNiCHE Faisniche, words whose meaning is lost in the islands ; 

probably Irish ; perhaps knowing, delaying, that is wise, 

Leudab leothab LocHULiraACH, (?) perhaps a description of the 

man ; the epithet Lochlannach is the only one of the three 

which is comprehensible, and this line probably belongs to 

something else. 
LoRO NA Lach, the track of the duck ; path, towards the sea. 
LuiRACH, a coat of mail, also a patched cloak. 
Maoh o Dorna, (?) plain of pebbles, from dornag, a stone, that 

can be held in dom, the fist. 
Neàm-a-laoh, (?) not to be found in dictionaries. 
Plubabsaich, an expressive word for plunging about. 


From Hector Boyd, Fisbennan, Barra. 

^T^HERE were three widows, and every one of them 
-*- had a son apiece. Dòmhnull was the name of 
the son of one of them.* 

Dòmhnull had four stots, and the rest had but two 
each. They were always scolding, saying that he had 
more grass than they had themselves. On a night of 
the nights they went to the fold, and they seized on 
the stots of Dòmhnull and they killed them. When 
Dòmhnull rose and went out in the morning to see the 
stots, he found them dead. 

He flayed the stots, and he salted them, and he 
took one of the hides with him to the big town to selL 
The way was so long that the night came on him before 
he reached the big town. He went into a wood and 
he put the hide about his head. There came a heap of 
birds, and they lighted on the hide j he put out his 
hand and he seized on one of them. About the bright- 
ening of day he went away j he betook himself to the 
house of a gentleman. 

The gentleman came to the door, and he asked 
what he had there in his oxter. He said that he had 
a soothsayer. ** What divination will he be doing V* 

* (Lit.) It was Domhnnll that was on the son of one of them. 

THE THREE Wn)OWS. 2 1 9 


He will be doing every sort of divination," said 
Dòmhnull. "Make him do divination," said the gen- 

He went and he wrung him, and the bird gave a 
RAN.* "What is he saying?" said the gentleman. 
" He says that thou hast a wish to buy him, and that 
thou wilt give two hundred pounds Saxon for him, " 
said DòmhnulL " Well, surely ! — ^it is true, doubt- 
less ; and if I were thinking that he would do divina- 
tion, I would give that for him," said the gentleman. 

So now the gentleman bought the bird from Dòmh- 
null, and he gave him two hundred pounds Saxon for 

" Try that thou do not sell him to any man, and 
that there is no knowing that I might not come myself 
to seek him yet I would not give him to thee for 
three thousand pounds Saxon were it not that I am in 
extremity. " 

Dòmhnull went home, and the bird did not do a 
pinch of divination ever after. 

When he took his meat he began at counting the 
mohey. Who were looking at him but those who 
killed the stot-s. They came in. 

"Ah, Dòmhnull," said they, "how didst thou get 
all the money that is there 1" 

" I got it as you may get it too. It 's I that am 
pleased that you killed the stots for me," said he. 
"Kill you your own stots, and flay them, and take 
with you the hides to the big town, and be shouting, 
* Who will buy a stot's hide, * and you will get plenty 
of money." 

They killed the stots, and they flayed them. They 
took with them the hides to the big town, and they 

* There seems to be a pun here. Kan is a roari a hoarse 
noise. Ra.nn is a rhyme, a Terse, a stanza. 


began at shouting, "Who will buy a stot's hide." They 
were at that work the length of the day ; and when, the 
people of the big town were tired making sport of 
them, they returned home. 

Now they did not know what they should do. 
They were vexed because of the stots that were 
killed. They saw the mother of Dòmhnull going to 
the well, and they seized on her and they choked 

When Dòmhnull was taking sorrow, so long was 
his mother coming, he looked out to try if he could 
see her. He reached the well, and he found her dead 

He did not know what he should do. Then he 
took her with him home. 

On the morrow he arrayed her in the best clothes 
she had, and he took her to the big town. He walked 
up to the king's house with her on top of him. When 
he came to the king's house he met with a large well. 

He went and he stuck the stick into the bank of 
the well, and he set her standing with her chest on the 
stick. He reached the door and he struck at it, and 
the maidservant came down.* 

" Say to the king, " said he, " that there is a re- 
spectable woman yonder, and that she has business with 

The maidservant told that to the king. 

" Say to him to say to her to come over, " said the 

" The king is asking thee to say to her to come 
over, " said the maidservant to DòmhnulL 

" I won't go there ; go there thyself ; I am tired 

* The manners and onstoms of kings, according to west coon- 
try fishermen, were primitive. 



The maid went up, and she told the king that not 
a bit of the man would go there. 

" Go there thyself" said the king. 

" If she will not answer thee, " said Dòmhnnll to 
the maidservant, " thou shalt push her ; she is deaf." 

The maidservant reached where she was. 

" Good woman, " said the maidservant to her, " the 
ViTig is asking yourseK to come over." 

She took no notica She pushed her and she said 
not a word. Dòmhnull was seeing how it was without. 

" Draw the stick from her chest, '* said DòmhnuU ; 
" it 's asleep she is. " 

She drew the stick from her chest, and there she 
went head foremost into the well. 

Then he shouted out, " Oh my cattle ! my cattle ! 
oiy mother drowned in the well ! What shall I do 
this day?" Then he struck his two palms against 
each otìier, and there was no howl he gave that could 
not be heard at three miles* distance. 

The king came out. " Oh, my lad, never give it 
voice for ever, and I will pay for thy mother. How 
much wilt thou be asking for thy mother 1 " 

" Five hundred pounds Saxon,'* said Dòmhnull. 

" Thou shalt get that within the minute, " said the 

Dòmhnull got the five hundred Saxon pounds. He 
went where his mother was ; he took the clothes off 
that were on her, and he threw her into the well. 

He came home, and he was counting the money. 
They came — ^the two — ^where he was, to see if he should 
be lamenting his mother. They put a question to bim 
— " Wbere had he got all the money that was there Y* 

" I got it, " said he, " where you may get it if you 
yourselves should choose. " 

" How shall we get it ? " 


" Kill you yonr mothers, and take them with you on 
top of you, and take them about the big town, and 
be shouting, * Who will buy old dead carlins V and you 
will get your fortunes." 

When they heard that they went home, and each 
one of them began upon his mother with a stone in a 
stocking till he killed her. 

They went on the morrow to the big town. They 
began at shouting, " Who will buy old carlins dead Ì " 
And there was no man who would buy that. 

When the people of the big town were tired 
making sport of them, they set the dogs at them 

When they came home that night they laid down 
and they slept. On the morrow, when they rose, they 
went where DòmhnuU was, and they seized on him and 
they put him into a barrel They went with it to reel 
it down from a peak of rock. They were thus, and 
they had time about carrying it. The one said to the 
other, " Since the way was so long, and the day so hot, 
that they should go in to take a dram." They went 
in, and they left him in the barrel on the great road 
without. He heard a " tristbich "* coming, and who 
was there but the shepherd, and a hundred sheep with 
him. He came down, and he began to play a "trump " 
(Jew's harp) which he had in the barrel. The shep- 
herd struck a stroke of his stick on the barrel 
" Who's in here Ì " said he. " It's me," said Dòmh- 
nulL " What art thou doing in it ? " said the shep- 
herd. " I am making a fortune in it, " said Dòmh- 
null, " and no man ever saw such a place with gold 
and silver. I have just filled a thousand purses here, 
and the fortune is nearly made." 

* Tribtbich : a word which exactly descnhes the tripping 
sound of a lot of sheep on hard groand. 



" It's a pity," said the shepherd, "that thou shouldest 
not let myself in a while." 

"I won't let thee. It is much that would make 

" And wilt thou not let me in ? Mightest thou not 
let me in for one minute, and mightest thou not have 
enough thyself nevertheless 1 " 

" By the books, poor man, since thou art needful, 
I will let thee in. (Do) thou thyself drive the head 
out of the barrel and come here ; but thou shalt not 
get (leave) to be long in it, " said DòmhnuU. 

The shepherd took the head out of the barrel, and 
he came out ; he seized on the shepherd by the two 
shanks, and he set him head foremost in the barrel. 

" There is neither silver nor gold here," said the 

" Thou wilt not see a thing till the head goes on 
the barrel, " said DòmhnuU. 

" Oh, I don't see a shadow in here, " said he. 

"K thou seest not> so be it with thee," said 

Dòmhnull went and he put on the plaid that the 
shepherd had, and when he put on the plaid the dog 
followed him. Then they came out and they seized 
the barrel, and they raised it on their shoulders. They 
went away with it 

The shepherd would say at the end of every mi- 
nute, "It's me that's in it — ^it'sme that'sinit" "Oh, 
it's thou, roguey ! belike it's thou ?" 

They reached the peak of the rock, and they let 
down the barrel with the rock and shepherd in its in- 

When they returned, whom did they see but Dòmh- 
nuU, with his plaid and his dog, and his hundred of 
sheep with him in a park. 


They went over to him. 

" Oh, Dòmhimll," said they, " how gottest thou to 
come hither Ì " 

" I got as you might get if you would try it. After 
that I had reached the world over yonder, they said to 
me that I had plenty of time for going over there, and 
they set me over here, and a hundred sheep with me to 
make money for myself" 

" And would they give the like of that to us if we 
should go there Ì " said they. 

" They would give (that.) It 's they that would 
give," said DòmhnulL 

" (By) what means shall we get going there Ì " said 

" Exactly the very means by which you yourselves 
sent me there," said he. 

They went and they took with them two barrels to 
set themselves into up above. 

When they reached the place one of them went into 
one of the barrels, and the other sent him down with 
the rock- That one gave a roar below, and his brains 
just after going out with the blow he got. 

The other one asked DòmhnuU what he was saying 1 

" He is shouting, * Cattle and sheep, wealth and 
profit,' " said DòmhnuU. 

" Down with me, down with me ! " said the other 

He did not stay to go into the barreL He cut a 
caper down, and the brains went out of him. 

Dòmhnull went home, and he had the land to him- 




Bha tri buntraichean aann, agus bha mac an t-aon sag a h-uile tè 
dhiu. 'Se Dòmhnull a bh' air mac h-aon diu. Bba ceithir daimh 
aig DòmhnuU, *a cha robh ach da dhamh an t-aon aig càcb. Bbiodh 
end a' trod daonnan, ag ràdh go 'n robh barrachd feòir aige-san 's a 
bh' aca fhin. Oidhche dha na oidhchean chaidh eud do 'n chùith, 
agus rug eud air na daimh aig Dòmhnull, agus mharbh eud eud. 
Nur a dh' eiddh DòmhnuU 'a a chaidh e 'mach 'sa- mhadainn a 
sheaultainn air na daimh, f huair e marbh eud. Dh* fheaunn e na 
daimh *s shaill e eud, 's thug e leis t^ dha na seicheachan dha 'n 
bhaile mhòr a 'creic Bha 'n t-astar cho fada 's gon d* thàinig an 
oidhch' air mu 'n d' rkinig e 'm baile mòr. Chaidh e 'stigh do choille 
's chuir e 'n t^seiche mu cheaunn. Thàinig grunnan ian 's laidh eud 
air an t-seiche. Chuir e 'Ikmh a mach 's rug e air fear dhiu. Mu 
shoillseachadh an latha dh' f halbh e. Ghabh e go tigh duin' uasail. 
Thkinig an duin' nasal gos an dorusd 's dh' fhoighnichd e d^ bh' aige 
'na achlais an siud. Thuirt e go 'n robh liosaiche. ** De 'n f hios* 
achd a bhios e 'dianadh ? " ** Bidh a h-uile seòrsa fiosachd," ursa 
DòmhnulL *' Bheir air fiosachd a dhianadh," urs' an duin' nasal. 
Dh' f halbh e agus dh' fhkisg e e 's thug an t-ian ran as. ** De 'tha 
e 'g riidh?'^ urs' an duin* nasal. "Tha e 'g rkdh gom bheil toil 
agadsa 'cheannach, 'a gon d' thoir thu dk chiad punnd Sasnach air," 
ursa Dbmhnull. ** Mata, go dnnteach I tha e liar gon teagamh, 's 
na *m bithinn a smaointeachadh gon dianadh e fiosachd bheirinn sinn 
air," urs' an duin' nasal. Cheanuaich an duin' uasal, an so, an t-ian 
o DhomhnuU, *s thug e da chiad punnd Sasnach dha air. " Fiach 
nach creic thuri duine 'sam bith e, 's gon fhios nach d' thiginn fhin a 
'iarraidh fhathasd. Cha d' thugainn duit air tri mile punnd 
Sasnach e mur a' bhithe' gom bheil mi aunn a'm' èiginn." Dh' 
f holbh Dbmhnull dachaidh, 's cha d' rinn an t-ian greim fiosachd 
riabh tuilHdh. 

" Nur a ghabh e bhiadh thbisich e air cunntas an airgid. Co 
*bha 'ga choimhead ach an f headhain a mharbh na daimh. Thàinig 
end a stigh. ** A Dhbmhnuill," urs' àdsan, " demur a f huair thusa 
na 'bheil an sin de dh' airgiod ? " " Fhuair mur a gheibh sibhs' e 
cnideachd. '3 mi 'bha toilichte go 'n do mharbh sibh na daimh onn," 
urs' esan. " Marblmdh sibhse na daimh agaibh fhin, agus feannaibh 
eud, agus thugaibh leibh na seicheachan do 'n bhaile mhòr, 's 
bithibh ag eubhach co cheannaclias seiche daimh, agus gheibh sibh 
na leòir de dh' airgiod." Mharbh end na daimh 's dh' fheaunn eud 


eud. Thug end leò na seicheachan dp 'n bhaile mhòr, 'a thòUich end 
air enbhach co cheannachas seiche daimli. Bha eud ris an obair sin 
fad an latha ; 's nur a bha mninntir a* bhaile mhoir sgith 'gabbail 
spòrs orra, thill eud dacbaidh. Cha robh fios aca an so de 'dhianadh 
eud ; bha aireacbas orra chionn na daimb a mharbhadh. Chunnaic 
eud mkihair DhòmhnuiU a* dol do 'n tobar, *» rug eud urra 's tbachd 
end i. Nur a bha DbmhnnU a' gabhail mnlaid fad 's a bha mhàthair 
gon tighinn, sheaull e 'mach fiach am faiceadh e i. Bàinig e 'n tobar 
's fhnair e marbh an sin i. Cha robh fios aige de 'dhianadh e. 
Thug e leis dhachaidh an sin L An la *r na mhkireach 'sgeadaich e i 
aunns an aodach a b' f hearr a bh' aico *s thug e dha 'n bhaile mhòr i. 
Choisicb e 'suas go tigh an ligh 's i aig* air a mhuinn. Nur a thàinig 
e go tigh an ligh thachair tobar mòr ris. Dh' f halbh e 's stob è *m 
bata 'm bmach an tobair, 's chuir e 'na seasamh i 'sa h-uchd air a' 
bhatai. Rkinig e *n dorusd *s bhuail e aige, 's thkinig an searbhanta 
'nuas. '* Abair ris an rigb," urs' esan, ** gom bheil boireannach coir 
thallad, 's gom bheil gnothach aice ris.*' ** Dh' innis an searbhanta 
sind dha 'n rìgh. « Abair ris a ràdh rithe tigh 'n a naull," ars' an 
rìgh. ** Tha "n righ 'g iarraidh ort a rkdh rithe tigh 'n a naull," urs' 
an searbhanta ri Dbmhnull. " Cha d' th^id mis' aunn; theirig fhin 
aunn ; tba mise sgith go leòir." Chaidh an searbhanta 'suas 's thuirt 
i ris an an ligh nach rachadh bad dha 'n duin' aunn.'* ** Falbh fhin 
aonn," urs' an righ. *' Mur am freagair i thu," ursa Dòmhnull ris an 
t-searbhanta, ''putaidh tu i ; tha i bodhar." Bkioig an searbhanta 
far an robh i "A bhoireannaich choir," urs' an searbhanta rithe, 
*'tha 'n righ 'g iarraidh oirbh fhin tigh 'n a naulL" Cha d' thug ise 
feairt. Phut i i 's cha d' thuirt i focal Bha Dbmhnull a' faidnn 
mur a bha 'muigh. ** Tarruinn am bat' o a h-uchd," ursa DòmhnuU, 
'* 'a aunn 'na cadal a tha i." Tharruinn i 'm bat' o a h-uchd, agus 
siud an coinneamh a cinn a ghabh i aunns an tobar. Dh'eubh esan 
an 80 a muigh, ** O m' f heudail I m' fheudail I mo mhathair air a bath* 
adh aunns an tobar t De 'ni mis' an diogh I " Bhuail e 'n so a dha 
bhoisri ch^ile, 's cha 'n 'eil ran a bheireadh e as nach clainnte tri mil' 
air astar. Thàinig an ligh 'mach. '* O ghille, na d' thoir guth go 
brkch air, 's pàighidh mise do mhkthair." '^ De 'bhios thu 'g iarr- 
aidh air do mhkthair?" <* Còig clad punnd Sasnach," ursa Dbmh- 
nulL ^ Gheibh thu sin 'sa mhionaid," urs' an iigh« Fhuair Dbmh- 
null na cbig ciad punnd Sasnach. Chaidh e far an robh 'mhathair, 's 
thog e dhi an t-aodach a bh' urra, 's thilg e 's an tobar i, 

ThUnig e dhachaidh 's bha e 'cunntas an airg^d. Thàinig àdaan 
'nan dithisd far an robb e fiach am biodh e 'caoineadh a mhàthar. 
Chuir eud oeist air oa' *n d' fhuair e na robh 'n siud de dh' airgiod. 



** Fhtudr,** HIS* esan^ ** &r am fiugheadh sibhs' e na *n toilicheadh 
sibh flun." « Demur a gheibh sin e?" ** Marbhadh sibhs' 'nrmatb- 
raicheaD, 's thngaibh leibh air *nr muin end, 's theirigibh feadh a 
bhaile mhòìr, *b bithibh ag enbhachd 00 a cheamiachas seana chaill- 
each mharbh, *» gheibh sibh 'or fortan." 

Nur a chnal eud so chaidh eud dachaidh. Shihd gach fear ac' air 
a mhàthair le dach am mogan gos an do mharbh e L Dh* f halbh 
eud ao hi 'r na mhàireach do 'n bhaile mhòr. Thòisich eud aireubh- 
ach, ** Co cheaDnachas seana chaUleach mharbh," 's cha robh duine 
'bheannachadh siud. Nur a bha muinntir a 'bhaile mhòir sgith 'gabh- 
ail spòrs orra, lig end na coin aunnta dhachaidh. 

Nur a thèùnig eud dachaidh an oidhche sin chaidh eud a laidhe 's 
chaidil end. An la 'r na mhàireach, nur a dh* ^iridh eud, thàinig end 
far an robh Domhnull, 's rug eud air, *s chuir end aunn am barailt e. 
Dh* f halbh eud leis gos a rìleadh a sios le bàrr creige. Bha eud an 
so *s treis mu seach aca *ga *ghiulan air falbh. Thuirt an dama fear 
ris an fhear eile, o *n a bha *n t-astar cho fada *s an latha cho teith, 
go *m bo choir dhaibh dol a stigh a ghabhail drama. Chaidh end a 
stigh, *s dh' f hag end esan annus a* bharailt air an rathad mhòr a 
mnigh. Chnal e tristrich a' tighinn, *s co 'bha *n sin ach cibear 
agns dad caora leis. Ghabh e 'nuas ; agus thbisich esan air seinn 
tromp a bh' aig' aunns a' bharailt Bhuail an cibear buille dha 'n 
bhat' air a' bharailt. *< Co 'tha 'n so ? " urs' esan. " Tha mis',*' ursa 
Domhnull. «De *tha thu 'dianadh anun?** urs' an dbear. *<Tha 
mi 'dianadh an f hortain aunn,*' ursa Domhnull ; " 's cha 'n f haca 
dnine riabh a' leithid so de dh' àite le or a*s airgiod. Tha mis' an 
d^h mile spòran a lianadh an so, 's tha m' fhortan thnn a 
bhith dèante." ** 'S tmagh," urs' an dbear, ** nach ligeadh tn mi 
fhin a stigh treis.*' «Cha lig; 's mòr a bheireadh orm e.'* *<'S 
nach lig thu aunn mi, nach faodadh tn mo ligeil aunn aona 
mhionaid, *s nach fàod thu na leòir a bhith agad f h\n co-dhih." 
"An leòbhra 'dhuine bhochd, o 'n a tha thu febmach ligidh mi aunn 
thu. Onir fMn an ceaunn as a' bharùit 's thig an so, ach cha 'n f had' 
a gheibh thu 'bhith aunn," ursa DomhnulL Thug an dbear an 
ceaunn as a bharailt *s thkinig esan a mach. Rug e air dhk chois air 
a' chibear 's chuir e 'n coinneamh a chinn *s a bharailt e. ** Cha 'n 
'eQ airgiod na or an so," urs' an dbear. ** Cha 'n f haic thu dad gos 
an d* th^id an ceaunn 'sa bharailt," ursa Domhnull. *' O I cha 'n 
fhaic mise sgath an so," urs' esan. **Mnr am faic biodh agad,** ursa 

Dh' fhalbh Domhnull 's chuir e air am breacan a bh' aig a* chib- 
ear, 's lean a3& eh e nur a dinir e air am breacan. Thèdnig àdsan, an 


so, a' mach *s rag ead air a* bharaflt 's thog end air an gnaillean e. 
Dh' fhalbh end lets. Thdreadh an dbear an ceannn h-nile mionaid, 
" Mia* a til* annn, mis' a th' aann." <* O 's tn bhniidean ! *s dògh 
gor tn I " Bàinig end bàrr na creige, 's lig end sine am barailt leis 
a' cbreig 's an dbear *na bbroinn. 

Nur a thill end co dmnnaic end ach Dòmhnnll le bhreacan *s le 
chii, 'a ciad caor* aig* annn am pìòrc. Ghabh end a null g'a ionna- 
nidh. ** O Dhòmhnnill/' nrs* 2ui<an, ** d^nr a fhnair thuaa tighinn 
an so ?** " Fhnair mnr gheibheadh sibhse na *m fiadiadh sibh ris. 
An deigh dbmhsa an aaoghal thaull a ruighinn, thnirt end rinm gon 
robh nine na leòir agam go dol a null, 's dinir end a nanll mi agus 
ciad caora leam go airgiod a dhianadh dhomh f bin/' " Agns an d' 
thugadh end a' leithid sin dninne na *n radiamaid flan annn ? ** nrs' 
itdsan." " Bheireadh, *8 end a bheireadh," nrsa Dbmhnnll. ** De *n 
dòigh air am faigh sinn dol atmn," nrs' àdsan. ** Dìreach air an aon 
dòigb air an do chnir sibh fhin mis' annn," nra' esan. 

Dh' fhalbh end 's thug end leotha da bharailt go end fhin a chur 
unnta go h-àrd. Nnr a rkinig end an t-kite chaidh fear din annn a 
h-aon de na barailtean, 'a dinir am fear eQe aios leis a' chreig e. 
Thug am fear ain rkn as shios, 'a an t-ionachiùnn an dèlgh dol aa leia 
a' bhniir a fhnair e. Dh' fhoighneachd am fear eile de Dhbmhnnll 
de 'bha e *g rkdh. ** Tha e 'g eubhach, Crodh a's caoraidi, maoin 
a 'a mathas " nrsa DòmhnuU. ** Sioa mi ! aioa mi I" nrs' am fear eile, 
'a cha d' fhan e ri dol annua a' bharailt. Gbekrr e leum aioa 'a 
chaidh an t-ionachainn aa. Thill Domhnull dacbaidh'a bha 'm 
fearann aige da fhin. 

This story is maryellonsly like Big Peter and Little Peter 
(Norse Tales, p. 387), published in 1869. That, again, is equally 
like Grimms' "Little Farmer," p. 179 of the English translation, 
1857; and that, again, resembles an Italian tale printed in 

The incident of the man in the cupboard is common to German 
and Norse, it is not in the Gaelic tale, but it is the whole subject 
of the " Monk and the Miller's Wife '* by Allan Ramsay, p. 620, 
vol. ii. of the edition published in 1800; and that has a much 
older relative in " the Friars of Berwick," published in " Scottish 
Ballads " by John Gilchrist, 1816, p. 327. That tale is said to be 
from Sibbald's Chronicle of Scottish Poetry, and Pinkerton's 
Scottish Poets, collated with the Bannatyne MS. That poem, of 


rather questionable propriety, contains none of the incidents in 
this Gaelic tale ; and it is clearlj not derived from any of these 
modem books. The yersion translated was written down in 
Barra by Hector MacLean, in July, from the mouth of a fisher- 

In December, the following version was written down by the 
Rev. Mr. MacLanchlan of Edinburgh, a very highly respected 
gentleman, well known as one of the best Gaelic scholars of his 
day ; while he is also a zealous and active minister. He has in- 
terested himself in the collection of the popular lore of his coun- 
try ; and he has been kind enough to write down several tales for 
me from the dictation of one of his parishioners. He gives the 
following pedigree, with his translation of the Gaelic, which be 
was good enough to send, and which was returned to him : — 

2d. From Donald MacLean, bom in Ardnamurchan, brought 
up from the age of 3 years in Mull (Jarvisfield), 69 years of age. 
Heard this from an old man in Ardnamurchan, Angus MacPhie, 
who died forty.five years ago. Reads a little English ; has never 
seen any of these stories in a book ; cannot write ; reads no Gaelic ; 
lives in the Grassmarket ; came to Edinburgh thirty-five years 


Once in a time there lived three men in the same place, whose 
names were Ribin, Robin, and Levi-our. The men were not on 
friendly terms together, as the other two disliked Levi-our. On 
one occasion Levi-our was from home, when the other two, out of 
revenge, killed one of his cows. On his retum, he flayed the cow, 
and dried the hide. He made two pockets, which he sewed to 
the hide, and put in there several pieces of money of different 
value. He went with the hide to the market town. He was 
trying at his leisure whether he could find any one to buy it. He 
saw a man, who had the appearance of being rich, come to the 
place in which he stood, and he made an offer for the hide ; but 
Levi-our thought the price too small. Levi-our said that they 
had better go into the inn and have a dram. The gentleman 
assented, and they entered the inn. Levi-our called for such a 


dram aiB was suitable in the circumstances, and they got it. 
When they were aboat to pay for the dram Levi-onr stmck a 
stroke of his stick on the hide, and said, " Pay this, hide." The 
coin of money that was necessary to pay the dram leaped out on 
the floor. The gentleman asked him whether the hide wonld 
always pay in that way. He said it wonld. " Whatever a man 
drinks in an inn the hide will pay it." " Do you think," said the 
gentleman, " it will do that for me if I buy it ? " " Oh, yes, the 
very same," said the other. ** If it will, I'll give yon a hundred 
merks for it," said he. "It is yours," said Levi-our, "if you 
give me that sum for it." The other paid the money and got the 
hide. The gentleman called for another dram which they drank 
together. Levi-our bade him strike the hide as he had done, and 
he would see that the hide wonld pay as it did for him. The 
other struck the hide and it paid the money. Levi-our went 
away and left it there, and so pleased was the other with his pur- 
chase that he called for more drink )n the inn. He struck the 
hide, and bade it pay for the drink, but nothing would come out 
of it ; it would pay no more. Levi-our went home, and next 
morning he saw Eibin and Bobin, his neighbours, coming to the 
house. He was engaged counting the money he got for the hide 
when the men came into his house. " Oh, Levi-our," said they, 
" where did you get all that money? " " One of my cows died," 
said he, " I flayed her, and carried the hide to the market town ; 
I sold the hide and got all this money for it. There is a great 
price," said he, " to be had for raw hides." They went away 
home, and killed each of them a cow ; they took the hides off them, 
and dried them. They went with them to the market town, and 
were then walking backwards and forwards asking who would 
buy raw hides. Several people came their way, and were offering, 
some half-a-crown, and some a crown for each hide. They were 
resolved not to sell them, unless they got the same price for them 
that Levi-our got for his. They saw that they could not succeed 
in that, so they were just obliged at last to return home with the 
hides. They went to Levi-our's house. Levi-our left, and went 
out of their way. There was nobody to be found within but an 
old woman, his mother. It was this they did — ^they killed Levi- 
our's mother out of revenge toward himself. When he returned 
home, he found his mother dead. He took the body, and instead 


of dressing it in graye-clothes, he pat on his mother's usnal dress, 
and went awaj with it to the market town. When he reached 
the market town he looked about for a well, and he saw a great 
deep well there. He took two sticks, and propped the body of 
his mother, with the two sticks, at the side of the well. He saw 
a number of fine looking scholars flocking out from a school in 
the neighbourhood. He asked a boy, who seemed to be the son 
of a great influential and distinguished man, if he would be so 
good as go and tell the old woman who was standing' near the 
well, that he was wishful to leave, and to ask lier to come to him. 
The boy agreed, and went to the old woman. She took no notice 
of him. He returned to Levi-our, and said that she did not 
answer him. " Ud," said Levi-our, " go again and speak loud 
and resolutely to her, and tell her it is her own son wants her. " 
The boy returned, and went up close to her, and as he thought 
she was deaf, he spoke load to her. As she made no reply, he 
gave her a push, when down she tumbled into the well. Levi- 
our called out for the town-guard and told them to seize the boy 
that had drowned his mother. The officers came immediately, 
arrested the boy, and put him in prison. Notice was given 
through the town, with the ringing of a bell, that such a young 
man had been imprisoned for drowning an old woman in a well. 
Who did the boy happen to be but the son of the provost of the 
town. The provost came to Levi-our and asked what he would 
take on condition of letting his son off, and as an equivalent for 
the life of his mother. Levi-our said it was not an easy matter 
to say, seeing he had so great a regard for his mother. " Oh," 
said the provost, " I will see your mother decently buried, and 
will give you besides five hundred merks in consideration of her 
having been drowned as happened." " Very well," said Levi-our, 
'* as you are a respectable gentleman, I will accept that." Levi- 
our returned home. Next day he saw his two neighbours coming 
towards his house. He commenced counting the money he had 
got for his mother. " Oh," said they, ♦' where did you get all 
that money ? " *' My mother died," said he, " and I went with 
her to the market town and sold her. There is a high price given 
for dead old women, to make powder of their bones." "Then," 
said they, " we, ourselves, will try the same thing." He who 
had no mother had a mother-in-law ; so they killed an old woman 


each. OS they go next day to the market town, with the old 
women on their shoulders. They walked backwards and forwards 
through the streets, crying out who would buy dead old women. 
All the loose fellows and dogs in the town soon gathered around 
them. As they carried the dead women they had their feet 
around their necks, and their bodies hanging down along their 
backs. When they saw the number of people likely to gather 
round them, they began to get out of the way as fast as possible. 
Before they got to the other end of the town, there was nothing 
remaining of the old women but the feet, which hung around 
their necks. They threw these at last to the people, and made 
off as fast as they could. Levi-our, when he thought that they 
were likely to do him an injury, resolved that, by the time of 
their return home, he and his wife would have a great feast for 
them. He did so. He spread a splendid table covered with 
meat and drink for them. He filled a portion of a sheep^s gut 
with blood and tied it round his wife's neck. " Now,'' said he, 
'* when they come, I will call to you to place more upon the table, 
and when you don't lay down enough, I will rise and take my 
knife, and stick it into the piece of gut that is around your neck, 
and I will let you fall gently to the ground. Afterwards I will 
sound a horn. You will then rise and wash yourself, and be as 
you were— living and well." Ribin and Eobin came to the house. 
" Come away, neighbours," said he, " you will be hungry after 
being in the market town." There was as much meat and drink 
before them as would serve a dozen of men. He was always 
bidding his wife to put down more and more. On one of these 
occasions Levi-our rose and put his pointed knife into the piece 
of gut that was round his wife's neck. *' Oh Levi-our, senseless 
man as thou ever wert, what, made you kill your wife ? " " Get 
you on with your dinner," said he, " I'll bring her alive whenever 
1 choose." They took such alarm, and became so much afraid 
that they couldn't eat their food. Levi-our rose, seized the horn, 
and sounded it. His wife rose and shook herself. ** Now," said 
he, " see to it that you behave well hereafter, and that you don't 
refuse anything I require of you." Ribin and Robin went away. 
When they saw the strange things he could do, they could not 
remain any longer in his company. *' Our own wives might very 
well provide us with such a feast as we had from Levi-our," 


said tbey, '* and if they do not we will treat them just as Levi-oar 
did." So soon as they returned home, they told their wives that 
they must prepare them a feast, and a better one than Levi-our 
gave them. Their wives did so, but they were not satisfied ; they 
were always asking for more. " Oh," said the women, " Levi-our 
has sent you home drunk, and you don't know what you are 
saying." Both of the men rose and cut the throats of their wives 
at once. They fell down and were shedding their blood. The 
men then rose and sounded a horn to raise them again. Though 
they should sound the hum till this very hour, the wives wouldn't 
rise. When they saw that the wives would not rise, they resolved 
to pursue Levi-our. When he saw them coming, he took to his 
heels and ran away. They looked at nothing else ; but after him 
they ran, determined to have his life. He had n't ran far on his 
way when he met in with a man having a flock of sheep, lie 
said to the man, ** Put off your plaid, and put on what I am 
wearing, there are two men coming who are resolved to have 
your life. Bun as fast as you can, or you will be a dead man 
immediately." The man ran away as he was bidden, and they 
ran hard after him. They didn't halt until they had pushed him 
into the deep black {)ool of Ty-an leòban. The man fell in, and 
he was never t>een afterwards. They returned home. Next day, 
what did they see on looking out but Levi-our herding a fine 
flock of sheep. They came to the place where he was. *' Levi- 
our," said they, ''the whole world won't satisfy you, didn't we 
think that we had pitched you last night into the pool of Ty-an 
ledban." " Do n't you see the sheep I found there ? " said he. 
** Would we find the same if we went in ? " said they. " Yes, if 
I were to put you in," said he. Off Bibin and Robin set, and off 
Levi-our set after them. They reached, and when they got to 
the hole they stood still. Levi-our came behind them, and pushed 
them both into the pool. "Fish for sheep there," he said, *'if 
you choose." Levi-our came home, and got everything in the 
place for himself. I left them there. 

I have a third version of this written by Hector MacLean, 
from the telling of Margaret MacKinnon in Bemeray, in the 
Sotmd of Harris. It is called 

3. Brian Bbiagach — Bragging Brian. — What should happen 


but that a great merchant should come to the house of lijÌDg 
Brian, and what should he have but a great grey mare, and he 
pretended that she made gold and silver ; and what should the 
merchant do but covet this mare because she made gold and 
silver. Brian gave the mare money amongst her food, and the 
merchant foand it when he looked for it, and he gave thousands 
for the mare, and when he got her she was coining money. 

He took her with him, and he had her for a week, but a penny 
of money she did not coin. He let her alone till the end of a 
month, but money nor money she did not make. 

Then he went, at the end of the month, where Brian was, to 
talk to him (a chaikeadh) for the lie, and to send the mare back 

Brian killed a cow and filled the entrails with blood, and 
wrapped them about his wife under her clothes ; and when the 
merchant came, he and the wife began to scold, and the merchant 
stnick her, and she fell over for dead, and the blood ran about 
the floor. 

Then Brian went and he catches two horns that were in the 
top of the bed, barb na leapa, and he blew into his wife's throat 
till he broaght her alive again. 

The merchant got the horns, and promised to say no more 
about the mare, and went home and killed his wife, and his sister, 
and his mother, and he began to blow into their throats with the 
horns, but though he were blowing for ever he had not brought 
them alive. Then he went where Lying Brian was to kill him. 
He got him into a sack, and was to beat him to death with flails, 
but Brian asked a little delay, and got out (it is not said how), 
and put in two big dogs. The men threw the sack out into the 
sea when they were tired of beating it. 

What was more wonderful for the merchant at the end of a 
fortnight, than to see Brian and a lot of cattle with him. 

" CHiAii," " oh, my reason,'* said the merchant, "hast thou 
come back, Brian ! " 

" I came," said Brian. " It was you that did the good to me ; 
when you put me out on the sea I saw thy mother, and thy wife, 
and thy sister, since I went away ; and they asked thee to go out 
on the sea in the place where thoa didst put me out, and that 
thoa thyself shouldst get a lot of cattle like this.'' 


The merchant went and cuts a caper out aib ▲ bhad on the 
spot where he had put out Brian. He was drowned, and Brian 
got his house for himself. 

I have a fourth version written hy John Dewar, collected 
somewhere in Argyleshire, and sent May 1860. 

4. EoBHAN luRRACH. — The hero and two others were working 
a town-land, bails fearainn, together. The one staid at home, 
and the others drowned his cow. He took ofif the hide, and hung 
it on the rafters, and when it was dry, he put a piece of money 
into each knee and hoof, and took it to the town, and he would 

cry out ** 00 A CHANICHEAS SEICfl NA*M BUINN AIRGIOd" — " who 

will huy the hide of the pieces of money?" and he would strike a 
hlow on the hide, and the money would fall on the street, and 
each piece as it fell he picked up and put it into his pocket. 

He sold it, of course ; and when the bargain was made, he 
knocked out all the money, to prove that it was no cheat, and put 
the money into his pocket, and went home. 

The others killed their cattle, and when they could not sell 
the hides, they decided on killing Hugh, but he was outside 
listening to all they said. 

They pulled down his house, but he was in the bam, and his 
mother-in-law alone was killed ; for he had offered his own bed 
to his mother-in-law, and she had said, — 

" Oh, my little hero, thou usest always to be kind to me." 

Hugh took his mother-in-law's body to a place that was far 
from his own house, and there was a well-spring near the hostel, 
TiGH OSD, and there he propped up his mother-in-law with a stick 
under her chin, to keep her standing. 

Then he went in and began to buy a drove from a drover, and 
sent out the drover to ask his deaf mother in to have a drink of 
beer, because she was very hard and would scold him for spendiog 
money if he asked her, but she would take it kindly if the drover 
did. The drover went, and after a while pushed the carlin, and 
she fell into the well. He got, ciad mabg, a hundred marks from 
the drover by threatening him with the gallows. 

He went home, told his friends that there was miadh mob air 
OAILLEACHEAN MARBH, great valuo ou dead carlins ; and they 
killed their mothers-in-law, and were like to be put in prison for 


trying to sell them. So they determined to serve out their tricky 
neighbour, and asked him and his wife to a dance at an inn. 
But Hugh tied a pudding full of blood about his wife's neck, and 
covered it up with a meapaoajn, and when he and his wife got 
up to dance a reel he put the skian dubh, black knife, into the 
pudding, and the wife fell as dead. 

Then Eobhan got a horn which hunters, huinteb seilqe, had 
at same time for the wood, and he put it to his wife, and he blew 
into the horn, and the horn gave a nuadhlan, lamentable groan ; 
and the wife of Hugh got up again, and she began to dance. 

The neighbours bought the horn and tried feabtan na h- 
ADHARC, the trick of the horn, on their own wives. They killed 
them, and blew, but thoagh they were blowing still, their wives 
would not get up. 

Then they caught Hagh and put him in a sack, to throw him 
over a fall. They went into an inn to drink beer. A drover 
came past, and Hugh in the sack began, — '* I am going to the 
good place, I am going to the good place," etc. " Where art 
thou going?*' said the drover, "It is," said Hugh, "they are 
going to put me where I will feel neither cold, nor weariness, nor 
hunger more. I shall not feel them, nor thirst." " Wilt thou 
let me there? " said the drover. And so the man was enticed into 
the sack, and thrown over the fall, and they heard him saying, 
" o CHOCH ! o CHOCH ! 's o MO CHEANN HO CHEANN ! alas, alas ! 
and oh, my head 1 my head !" 

When the ;ieighbours came home and found Hugh counting 
money, and heard that he had got it at the bottom of the fall, they 
got sacks, and the one threw the other over the fall till there was 
but one left, and he tied the sack to his sides and threw himself 
over, and every one of them was killed ; and Eobhan lurach got 
the farms to himself, and the cattle that his neighbours had, and 
he took the possession of both artfully, aous oabh e seilbh ahn 


The incident of getting riches by accusing people of killing a 
dead body is common to one of the African tales. Appendix to 
Norse tales—" The Ear of Com and the Twelye Men." 

The selling of something valueless, as a source of riches, is 
common to a story which 1 used to hear as a child, from John 


Piper my guardian, and wbich I lately found in another shape, in 
an English translation of Master Owlglass. 

The story, as I .remember it, was this : — A sailor who had 
got his money, and who knew that he would spend it all, went 
to visit his friends. On his way he paid double, and generously, 
for his board and lodging, and bargained that he should take off 
a certain old hat as payment on his way back. 

A Jew accompanied him on his return, and seeing the effect 
of the hat, begged for it, offered for it, and finally bought it for a 
large sum. Then he tried it, got cudgelled by the innkeepers, 
and cursed the clever tar who had outwitted him. 

Here, then, is a story known in the Highlands for many years, 
with incidents common to Gaelic, Norse, English, Gkrman, and 
some African tongue, and with a peculiar character of its own 
which distinguishes from all the others. I am indebted to the 
author of Norse Tales for a loan of the rare book mentioned in the 
following reference, which may throw some light on the story and 
its history :— 

In Le Piacevole Notte di Straparola, 1567, the story is told of 
a priest and three rogues who outwit him and whom he outwits 
in return. 

First, they persuade him that a mule which he has bought is 
an ass, and get it ; which incident is in another Gaelic story in 
another shape. Then he sells them a bargain in the shape of a 
goat, which is good for nothing. 

Then he pretends to kill his house-keeper by sticking a knife 
into a bladder filled with blood, and brings her alive again with 
something which he sells to them for two hundred fiorins of gold, 
and they kill their three wives in earnest. 

They are enraged, catch the priest, and put him into a sack, 
intending to drown him in a river. They set him down, and a 
shepherd comes, who hears a lamentable voice in a sack saying, 
" Me la vogliono pur dare, and io non la voglio " — ^They wish to 
give her to me, and I don*t want her. The priest explains that 
the Lord of that city wants to marry him to his daughter, and by 
that bait (not the bait of riches) entices the shepherd into the 
sack. The shepherd is drowned. The priest takes the sheep, and 
the rogues, when they find the priest with the sheep, beg to be 
put into three sacks. They get in, are carried to the river by 


three "facconi," and disposed of; and pre-Scarpaciflco, rick in 
money and flocks, returned borne and lived pleasantly, etc. 

By what process this story got from Italian into Gaelic, or 
who firgt invented it, seems worth inquiry. One thing is clear ; 
the Italian version and the four Gaelic versions now given re - 
semble each other very closely. 

It seems possible that the amusements of the Court of Mary 
Queen of Scots, or of the foreigners whose morals so enraged John 
Knox, may have descended to the Grassmarket and to the fisher- 
men of the Western Isles. David BÌ2zio, a Turinese, has the 
credit of many Scotch airs. He was killed in 1567, and the 
edition of Straparola which I have before me, printed in Venice, 
1567, if it be the first, may have found its way to Scotland through 
some of the countrymen of Hizzio. If that explanation be con- 
sidered reasonable, it has still to be shewn how the story got to 
Germany and Norway : where the man in the cupboard went in : 
and whence came the soothsaying bird in the grey hide and the 
unsaleable dead carUns, for they are not in the Italian version. 

Having carried the three widows' sons from Barra to the 
Grassmarket, where they are named Bibin, and Bobin, and 
Levi-our; thence to Norway, where they appear as Big and 
Little Peter; thence to Germany, where they have no name; 
and thence to the city of Postema in Italy in 1567,— as the nar> 
rator says, " There I left them." 



From Donald MacLean, Grassmarket, Edinburgh. Written jn 
Gaelic, and translated bj the Bev. Mr. MacLanchlan. 

rpHEEE was once a Scottish yeoman who had three 
-*- sons. When the youngest of them came to be of 
age to follow a profession, he set apart three hundred 
marks for each of them. The youngest son asked that 
his portion might be given to himself, as he was going 
away to seek his fortune. He went to the great city 
of London. He was for a time there, and what was 
he doing but learning to be a gentleman's servant? 
He at last set about finding a master. He heard that 
the chief magistrate (provost*) of London wanted a 
servant He appHed to him, they agreed, and he 
entered his service. The chief magistrate was in the 
habit of going every day in the week to meet the 
Archbishop of London in a particular place. The ser- 
vant attended his master, for he always went out along 
with him. When they had broken up their meeting 
on one occasion, they returned homewards, and the 
servant said to his master by the way, — 

* The Gaelic " ProbhaiBd " is an adaptation of the English 
" Provost/* as the latter is of the Latin " Propositus.*' 


•" That is a good brown horse of the bishop's," said 
he, "with your leave, master." 

" Yes, my man," said the master, " he has the best 
horse in London." 

"What think you," said the servant, "would he 
take for the horse, if he were to sell it Ì " 

" Oh ! you fool," said his master, " I thought you 
were a sensible fellow ; many a man has tried to iDuy 
that horse, and it has defied them as yet." 

" m return and try," said he. 

His master returned along with him to see what 
would happen. This was on a Thursday. The young 
man asked the bishop, would he " sell the horse ? " 
The bishop became amazed and angry, and said he did 
not expect that he could buy it. 

" But what beast could you, or any man have," 
said the young man, " that might not be bought Ì " 

" Senseless fellow," said the bishop ; " how foolish 
you are ! go away home, you shan't buy my horse." 

"What will you wager," said the young man, 
" that I won't have the horse by this time to-morrow ?" 

" Is it my horse you mean V* said the bishop. 

" Yes, your horse," said the young man. " What 
will you wager that I don't steal it 1" 

" I'll wager five hundred merks," said the bishop, 
"that you don't." 

" Then," said the young man, " I have only one 
pound, but m wager t^at, and my head besides, that 
I do." 

" Agreed," said the bishop. 

"Observe," said the young man, "that I have 
wagered my head and the pound with you, and if I 
steal the horse he will be my own property." 

" That he will, assuredly," said Ìhtì chief magistrate. 

" I agree to that," said t^e bishop. 


They returned home that night 

" Poor fellow," said the chief magistrate to his ser- 
Tant by the way, " I am very well satisfied with you 
since I got you. I am not willing to lose you now. 
You are fooHsh. The bishop will take care that neither 
you nor any other man will steal the horse. He'll 
have him watched." 

When night came, the young man started, and set 
to work ; he went to the bishop's house. What did 
he find out there, but that they had the horse in a 
room, and men along with it, who were busy eating 
and drinking. He looked about him, and soon saw 
that he would require another clever fellow along with 
him. In looking about, who does he find but one of 
the loose fellows about the town. 

" If you go along with me for a little time," said 
he, " I will give you something for your pains." 

" rU do that," said the other. 

He set off, and at the first start, both he and his 
man reached the hangman of the city. 

" Can you tell me," said he to the hangman, " where 
I can get a dead man Ì " 

" Yes," said the hangman, " there was a man hanged 
this very day, after midday." 

" If you go and get him for me," said the young 
man, " I'll give you something for your pains." 

The hangman agreed, and went away with him to 
where the body was. 

" Do you know now," said the young man, " where 
I can get a long stout rope > '' 

" Yes," said the hangman, " the rope that hanged 
the man is here quite convenient ; you'll get it" 

They set off with the body, both himseK and his 
man. They reached the bishop's house. He said to 
his man when they had reached — 



" Stay you here and take charge of this, imtil I 
get up on the top of the house." 

He put both his mouth and his ear to the chimney 
in order to discover where the men were, as they were 
now speaking loud from having drunk so much. He 
discovered where they were. 

" Place the end of the rope," said he to his man, 
" round the dead man's neck, and throw the other end 
up to me." 

He dragged the dead man up to the top of the 
chimney. The men in the room began to hear the 
rubbish in the chimney falling down. He let the body 
down by degrees, until at last he saw the bright light 
of the watchmen falling on the dead man's feet. 

" See," said they, " what is this Ì Oh, the Scottish 
thief, what a shift ! He preferred dying in this way 
to losing his head. He has destroyed himself. 

Down from the chimney came the young man in 
haste. In he went into the very middle of the men, 
and as the horse was led out by the door, his hand was 
the first to seize the bridle. He went with the horse 
to the stable, and said to them that they might now 
go and sleep, that they were safe enough. 

" Now," said he to the other man, ** I believe you 
to be a clever fellow; be at hand here to-morrow 
evening, and I will see you again." 

He paid him at the same time, and the man was 
much pleased. He, himself, returned to his master's 
stable with the bishop's brown horse. He went to 
rest, and though the daylight came early, earlier than 
that did his master come to his door. 

" I would n't grudge my pains," said he, " if my 
poor Scotsman were here before me to-day." 

"I am here, good master,' ' said he, "and the 
bishop's brown horse beside me." 


"Well done, my man," said his master, " you're a 
clever fellow. I had a high opinion of you before ; 
I think much more of you now." 

They prepared this day, too, to go and visit the 
bishop. It was Friday. 

" Now," said the servant, " I left home without a 
horse, yesterday, but I won't leave in the same way 

"Well, my man," said his master, "as you have 
got the horse, I'll give you a saddle." 

So they set off this day again to meet the bishop, 
his master and himseK riding their horses. They saw 
the bishop coming to meet them, apparently mad. 
When they came close together they observed that the 
bishop rode another horse, by no means so good as his 
own. The bishop and chief magistrate met with 
salutations. The bishop turned to the chief magis- 
trate's servant, — 

" Scoundrel," said he, " and thorough thief ! " 

" You can't call me worse," said the other. " I 
don't know that you can call me that justly ; for, you 
know, I told you what I was to do. Without more 
words, pay me my five hundred merks." 

This had to be done, though not very willingly. 

" What would you now say," says the lad, " if I 
were to steal your daughter to-night 1" 

"My daughter, you worthless fellow," said the 
bishop ; " you shan't steal my daughter." 

" I'll wager five hundred merks and the brown 
horse," said the lad, " that I'll steal her." 

"I'll wager five hundred merks that you don't," 
said the bishop. 

The wager was laid. The lad and his master went 
home. " Young man," said the master, " I thought 
weU of you at one time, but you have done a foolish 


thing now, just when you had made yourself all 

" Never mind, good master," said he, " TU make 
the attempt at any rate." 

When night came, the chief magistrate's servant 
set off for the bishop's house. When he reached, he 
saw a gentleman coming out at the door. 

" Oh," said he to the gentleman, " what is this 
going on at the bishop's house to-night ? " 

" A great and important matter," said the gentle- 
man ; " a rascally Scotsman who is threatening to steal 
the bishop's daughter, but I can tell you neither he nor 
any other man will steal her ; she is well guarded." 

" Oh, I'm sure of that," said the lad, and turned 
away. " There is a man in England, however," said 
he to himself, " who must try it" 

He set of^ and reached the king's tailors. He 
asked them whether they had any dresses ready for 
great people Ì 

" No," said the tailor " but a dress I have for the 
king's daughter and one for her maid of honour." 

" What," said the chief magistrate's servant, " will 
you take for the use of these, for a couple of hours 1" 

" Oh," said the tailor, " I fear I dare not give them 
to you." 

" Don't be in the least afraid," said the lad, " I'U 
pay you, and I'll return the two dresses without any 
injury or loss. You'll get a hundred merks," said he. 

The tailor coveted so large a sum, and so he gave 
them to him. He returned, and found his man of the 
former night They went to a private place, and got 
themselves fitted out in the dresses got from the tailor. 
When this was done as well as they could, they came 
to the bishop's door. Before he arrived at the door 
he found out that when any of the royal family came to 



the bishop's house they didn't knock, but rubbed the 
bottom of the door with the point of the foot. He 
came to the door, and rubbed. There was a doorkeeper 
at the door that night, and he ran and told the bishop. 

" There is some one of the royal family at the 
door," said he. 

"No," said the bishop, "there is not. It's the 
thief of a Scotsman that is there." 

The doorkeeper looked through the key-hole, and 
saw the appearance of two ladies who stood there. He 
went to his master and told him so. His master went 
to the door that he might see for himself. He who 
was outside would give another and another rub to the 
door, at the same time abusing the bishop for his folly. 
The bishop looked, and recognized the voice of the 
king's daughter at the door. The door is quickly 
opened, and the bishop bows low to the lady. The 
king's daughter began immediately to chide the bishop 
for laying any wager respecting his daughter, saying 
that he was much blamed for what he had done. 

" It was very wrong of you," said she, " to have 
done it without my knowledge, and you would not 
have required to have made such a stir or been so 
foolish as all this." 

" You wiU excuse me," said the bishop. 

" I can't excuse you," she said. 

In to the chamber he led the king's daughter, in 
which his own daughter was, and persons watching her. 
She was in the middle of the chamber, sitting on a 
chair, and the others sitting all around. 

Said the king's daughter to her, " My dear, your 
father is a very foolish man to place you in such great 
danger ; for if he had given me notice, and placed you 
under my care, any man who might venture to approach 
you would assuredly not only be hanged, but burned 


alive. Go," said slie to the bishop, " to bed, and dis- 
miss this large company, lest men laugh at you." 

He told the company that they might now go to 
rest, that the queen^s daughter and her maid of honour 
would take charge of his daughter. When the queen's 
daughter had seen them all away, she said to the 
daughter of the bishop, — 

"Come along with me, my dear, to the king's 
palace." He led her out, and then he had the brown 
horse all ready, and as soon as the Scotsman got her to 
where the horse stood, he threw off the dress he wore 
in a dark place. He put a different dress above his 
own, and mounted the horse. The other man is sent 
home with the dresses to the tailor. He paid the man, 
and told him to meet him there next night He 
leaped on the brown horse at the bishop's house, and 
off he rode to the house of his master. Early as day- 
light came, earlier came his master to the stabla He 
had the bishop's daughter in his bed. He wakened 
when he heard his master. 

" I would n't grudge my pains," said the latter, " if 
my poor Scotsman were here before me to-day." 

" Eh, and so I am," said the lad, " and the bishop's 
daughter along with me here." 

" Oh," said he, " I always thought well of you, 
but now I think more of you than ever." 

This was Saturday. He and his master had to go 
and meet the bishop this day also. The bishop and 
chief magÌ8trate met as usual K the bishop looked 
angry the former day, he looked much angrier this 
day The chief magistrate's servant rode on Hs horse 
and saddle behind his master. When he came near 
the bishop, he could only call him "thief" and 
" scoundreL" 

" You may shut your mouth," said he ; "you can- 

SBBBlgWBgiqWgiiBy"-^— M B 111 1» w II iw 


not say that to me with justice. Send across here my 
five hundred merks. He paid the money. He was 
ahusing the other. 

" Oh mftn," said he, '*give up your abuse ; I'll lay 
you the ten hundred merks that Til steal yourself to- 

"That you steal me, you worthless fellow," said 
the bishop. " You shan't be allowed." 

He wagered the ten hundred merks. 

" m get these ten hundred merks back again," said 
the bishop, " but I'll lay you fifteen hundred merks 
that you don't steal me. 

The chief magistrate fixed the bargain for them. 
The lad and his master went home. 

"My man," said the master, "I have always 
thought well of you till now ; you will now lose the 
money you gained, and you can't steal the man." 

"I have no fear of that," said the servant. 

When night came he set off, and got to the house 
of the bishop. Then he thought he would go where he 
could find the fishermen of the city, in order to see 
what might be seen with them. When he reached the 
fishermen he asked them whether they had " any fresh- 
killed salmon Ì " They said they had. He said to 
them — 

" If you skin so many of them for me I will give 
you such and such a sum of money, or as much as 
will be just and right." 

The fishermen said "they would do as he wished," 
and they did so- They gave him as many fish skins 
as he thought would make him a cloak of the length 
and breadth he wished. He then went to the tailors. 
He said to the tailors, would they make him a dress of 
the fish skins by twelve o'clock at night, and that they 
should be paid for it. They told him what sum they 


would take. They took tiie young man's measure and 
began the dress. The Mress was ready by twelve 
o'clock. They could not work any longer as the Sun- 
day was coming in. He left with the dresp^ and when 
he found himself a short way fron;t the bishop's church 
he put it on. He had got a key to open the church 
and he went in. He at once went to the pulpit The 
doorkeeper casting an eye in on an occasion, whUe a great 
watch was kept over the bishop, he went and said 
there was a light in the church. 

"A light," said his master, "go and see what 
light it is." It was past twelve o'clock by this 

" Oh," said the doorkeeper, coming back, " there is 
a man preaching in it" 

The bishop drew out his time-piece, and he saw 
that it was the beginning of the Sunday. He went 
running to the church. When he saw the brightness 
that was in the church, and all the movements of the 
man that was preaching, he w|s seized with fear. He 
opened the door a little^ and put in his head that he 
might see what he was like. There was not a language 
under the stars that the man in the pulpit was not 
taking a while o£ When he came to the languages 
which the bishop understood, he began to denounce 
the bishop as a man who had lost his senses. In the 
bishop ran, and down he is on his knees before tlie 
pulpit There he began to pray, and when he saw the 
brightness that was about the pulpit, he took to heart 
the things that were said to him. At length he said 
to him, if he would promise sincere repentsuice, and go 
along with him, he would grant him forgiveness. The 
bishop promised him that he would. 

" Come with me till I have a little time of you," 
said he. 



" I will," said the bisliof), " thougli thou shouldst 
ask me to leaye the world."^ • 

He went along with him, and the young man 
walked before him. They reached the stable of the 
chief magistrate. He got a seat for the bishop, and he 
kept him sitting. He sat down himself. They re- 
quired no light, for the servants* clothes were shining 
bright where they were. He was then expounding to 
the bishop in some languages which he could under- 
stand, and in others which he could not He went on 
in that way until it was time for his master to come in 
the morning. When the time drew near, he threw off 
the dress, bent down and hid it, for it was near day- 
light The bishop was now silent, and the chief ma- 
gistrate came. 

" I wouldn't grudge my pains," said he, " if I had 
my poor Scotsman here before me to-day." 

" Eh, so I am here," said he, " and the bishop 
along with me.'* 

" Hey, my man," says his master, " you have done 
well." ' 

"Oh, you infamous scoundrel," said the bishop, 
is it thus you have got the better of me Ì " 

" rU tell you what it is," said the chief magistrate, 
" you had better be civil to him. Don't abuse him. 
He has got your daughter, your horse, and your money, 
and as for yourself, you know that he cannot support 
you, so it is best for you to support him. Take him- 
self and your daughter along with you and make them 
a respectable wedding." The young man left and went 
home with the bishop, and he and the bishop's daughter 
were lawfully married, and the father shewed him 
kindness. I left them there. 



Bha triiiir mhac aig tnathanach Albanach nair de na bh' ann. *N 
uair a thainig am fear a b^ òige dhiubh gu aoise Mhol ri ceàìrd,chuir 
e tri cheud marg mu choinnimh gach aon dhiubh. Dh' iarr am fear a 
b' òige a chuid d'a fhèln, gun robh e 'falbh a dheanamh an f hortain. 
lliug e baile mòr Lunnuin air. Bha e greis ann an sin, 'us ciod e bha 
e ag ionnsachadh ach a bhi 'n a ghille dnine nasail ! Chuir e forthas 
mu dheireadh c^ kite am faigheadh e maighistir. Chuala e gun 
robh gille a dhith air Probhaist Lunnuin. Ràinig e e, chord lad, 'us 
rinn e mninntireas aige. Bha am Probhaist a dol na h-uile ]a 's an t- 
seachduin a choinneachadh Ardeaspuig Lunnuin ann an kite sòn- 
roichte. Dh' fhalbh an gille le a mhai^bistir, oir bhitheadh e mach 
lets daonnan. 'N uair a sgaoil iad a choinneamh a bh' aca aon la thill 
iad, 'us thubhairt an gille^r'a mhaighistir air an rathad, '* Is maith/' 
ars* esa, ** an t-each donn ud a th* aig an Easbuig, le 'ur cead, a 
mhaighistir." *< Seadh, a laochain/' ars' a mhaighistir, " tha an 
t-each is fhearr *an Lunnun aige.'* " Saoil mi," ars' an gille, ** ciod 
e ghabhadh e air an each nan reiceadh e e." " XJh, amadain," ars' a 
mhaighistir, '* shaoil leam gur balach ceart a bh' annad, is iomadh 
fear a dh' fheuch ris an each ud a cheannach *us dh' fhairtlich orra 
fhathasd." « Tillidh mise 'us feuchaidh mi ris," ars' esan. ThUl a 
mhaighistir corahluadh ris a dh' fhaidnn. Is ann air Diardaoine a 
thachair so. Thubhairt an gille ris an Easbuig, an reiceadh e an t-each. 
Ghabh an t-Easbuig ardan 'us miothlachd, 'us cha robh fiuthar aig gun 
ceannaicheadh esane. " Mata ciod e am beathach bhitheadh agadsa 
no aig duine eile nach fhaodar a cheannach," ars' an gille? ** Bhuraidh 
gun tiir," ars' an t-Easbuig, " tha thu amaideach, rach dhathigh, cha 
cheannaich thu m' eachsa." ** Ciod e an geall a chuireas tu," ars' an 
gille, ** nach bi e agamsa an dàr-!ta mkireach ?" *' 'N e m' eachsa bhith- 
eas agad," ars' an t-Easbuig. *' Is e d' eachsa bhitheas agam," ars' 
esan, *'ciod e an geall a chuireas tu rium nach goid mi e ? " ** Cuir- 
idh mi coig ceud marg riut," ars' an t-Easbuig, ''nach dean thu sin." 
'* Mata," ars* an gille, " cha-n 'eil agamsa ach aon phunnd, ach cuiridh 
mi sin, 'us mo cheann riut gun goid mi e." " Is bargan e," ars' an t- 
Kasbuig. '* Thoir an aire," ars' esan, ** tha mi cur mo chinn agus am 
punnd riut, agus mu ghoideas mise e, is e mo chuid fèin a bhitheas 
ann." " Bithidh e mar sin cinnteach," ars' am Probhaist. " Tha mi 
ag aontachadh ri sin," ars' an t-Easboig. Chaidh iad dathigh an 


oidhche. sin. ** Ghille bhochd," ars* a mhaighistir ris air an rathad, 
" bha thu cordadh gu maith rìum o fhuair mi thu. Tha mi dailich 
do chall a nis. Tha thu amaideach. Bheir an t-Easbuig an aire 
nach goid thusa no fear eile an t-each ; cumaidh e faire Jiir." Dh* 
fhalbh an gille *n uair thainig an oidhche 'us ghabh e air ; chaidh 
e gn tigh an Easbuig. Ciod e fhuair e mach ach gun robh an 
t-each stigh ann an seòmar aige, agus daoine ann an sin a gabhail 
da ag ith 'us ag 61. Sheall gille a Probhaist tirachioU air 'us 
smuanaich e gam feumadh e fear tapaidh eile fhaighinn |comhluadh 
ris. Sail d' an d' thug e uaith, ciod e chunnaic e ach fear a bhith* 
eadh ri cron daonnan feadh a bhaile. " Ma theid thu combluadh 
riumsa," ars' esa', " beagan iiine bheir mi rud eigin duit airson do 
shaothrach. " " Ni mi sin," ars' am fear eile. Dh' fhalbh esan 'us 
air a cheud dol a mach " rainig e fh^in 'us an gille a fhuair e an croch- 
adair a bha 's a bhaile, ''An urrainn thu innseadh dhomhsa," ars' esan, 
"c* kite am faigh mi duine marbh ? " "Is urrainn," ars' an crochad- 
air, *' chaidh duine a chrochadh an diugh f h^in an deigh mheadhoin 
latha." " Ma theid thu 'us gum faigh mise e," ars* esa, ** bheir mi 
rud eigin duit." Dh' fhalbh e leis 'us rainig lad an corp. " An 
aithne dhuit a nis," ars' esan, ** c' kite am faigh mi ball mòr fad, 
làidir ? " "Is aithne dhomh sin," ars' an crochadair, " tha am ball a 
chroch an duine an so goireasach dhuit 'us gheibh thu e." Dh' fhalbh 
e leis, efh^in 'us an gille eile a fhuair e, 'us thug iad leo e. Chaidh 
iad gu tigh an Easbuig. Thubhairt e ris a ghille 'n uair a rainig e, 
" f uirich thusa an sin 'us thoir an aire dha so, ach an d' theid mise 
suas air mullach an tighe." Dh' fhuirich an gille, 'us chaidh esan 
suas air mullach an tighe. Chuir e a bheul 'us a chluais ris an t* 
Biomalair ach am faigheadh e mach c' kite an robh na daoine, agus 
bruidheann labhar aca leis an 61. Fhuair e mach far an robh iad. 
" Cuir am ball," ars' esan, " timchioli air amhaich an duine mhairbh, 
'us tilg an ceann eile aig ormsa." Shlaod e an duine marbh leis gu 
mullach an t-siomalair. Bha na daoine bha 's an t-sebmar a fair- 
eachduinn na bha de shalachar 's an t-siomalair a tuiteam. Bha esan 
a leigeadh leis 's a leigeadh leis au duine mhairbh, gus am faca e mu 
dheireadh an solus breagh bha aig luchd na faire' tighinn air cosaibh 
an duine mhairbh. " Faicibh," ars' iadsan, '* ciod e tha so." " Oh 
am meirleach Albanach," ars' iadsan, " nach e thug an oidheirp ? 
B' fhearr leis a bheatha chall mar so no a cheann bhi aig an Easbuig, 
an ionnsuidh thug e air fhèin !" Leis an t-siomalair thainig an gille 
le cabhaig. Am meadhon nan daoine bha e a stigh 'us mar thainig 
an t-each mach air an dorus b'e a chead làmh bha 'an srian an eich 
esan. Dh' fhalbh e leis an each 'na stabull 'us thubhairt e riu gum 


feodadh iad nis dhol a chodal, gan robh iad sabhailt ga lebr. ** Tha 
mi ereidsinn/' an' esan ris a ghille eile, *' gu bheil tha 'n ad ghille 
tapaidh, bi aig laimh an ath oidhche *us chi mi i^ thu.** Phaigh e an 
gUle, *a8 an gille ro thoilichte. Dh' fhalbh esan dbathigh ga stabull 
a mhaigbistir leeach donn an Easbuig. Ghabh emn thàmh 'us ge bu 
mhoch a thainig an la bu mhoich a thaiuig a mhaigbistir gu donu 
an stabuilL ** Gha bu ghearain leam mo shaothair nam bitheadh m' 
Albanach bochd romham an so an diugh." ** Tha mi ann a so, a' 
mhaigbistir mhaith," ars' esan, '' agus each donn an Easbuig agam." 
*<Ud, a laochain, a ghille thapaidh," ars' a mhaigbistir, '' bha meas agam 
ort roimhe, ach tha meas mòr nis agam ort" Rinn iad reidh an la 
so rìs dhol a choinneachadh an Easbuig 'us b* e so De-haohie. ''Nis,** 
ars' an gille, *' dh' fhalbh mi gun each an d^, ach cha-n fhalbh mi 
mar sin an diugh." ** Mats, a laochain, o 'n a fhuair thufhèin an t-each 
bheir mise dioUaid duit." Dh' fhalbh iad an la so lis 'an ooinnimh an 
Easbuig, a mhaigbistir 'us esan air muin da each. Chunnaic iad an 
t-Easbuig a tighinn 'n an coinnimh 'us coltas a chutfaaich air. 'N 
nair a thainig iad an lathair a chèile^ chunnaic iad gun robh an 
t-Easbuig air muin eich eile nach robh cho maith r'a each fh^n. 
Chaidh an t-Easbuig 's am Probhaisd an ooinnimh a ch^ile le f àilte. 
Thionndaidh an t-Easbuig ri gille a Probhaisd,*' Shlaoitir," ars' esan, 
^ 'us a dhearbh mheirlich." ** Cha^n urrainn thu tuilleadh a ihàh 
nam," ars' gille a Phrobhaisd, *' cha-n 'eil fhios agam an urrainn thu 
sin fhèin a radh rium le ceartas, thaobh, dh'innis mi dhuit gun 
robh mi dol g'a dheanamh; gun tuilleadh de do sheanachas cuir an 
so mo chuig ceud marg am ionnsuidhse." B' €gin d'a sin a dhean- 
amh ged nach robh e toileach. ** Ciod e a their tha," ars' an gille, 
** ma ghoideas mi do nighean an nochd ?" 'S e aon nighean a bh' aig 
'as cho robh bu bhreagha na i 'an Lunnun. ^ Mo nigheansa, a 
bhiasd," ars' an t-Easbuig, ^ cha ghoid thu mo nigheansa." *' Cuir- 
idh mi," ars' an gille, " an cuig ceud marg a thug thu dhomh 'us an 
t-each donn gun gold mi i." *< Cuiridh mise deich ceud marg," ars^ 
an t-Easbuig, '< nach gold." Rinn iad cordadh. Dh' fhalbh esan 'us 
a mhaigbistir dhathiglu ** Laochain," ars' a mhaigbistir, ** bha mi a 
saoilsinn gu maith dhiot naireigin, ach rinn thu ttdm amaideach a 
nia, 'n nair a fhuair thu tbu fh^in ceart." ** Coma leibhse, a mhaigh* 
istir mhaith," ars' esan, ** bheir mi an ionnsuidh co dhihbh;" 'N uair 
thainig an oidhche, thog gille a Probhaist air, 'us chaidh e air falbh gn 
tigh an Easbuig. 'N uair a rainig e tigh an Easbuig, chunnaic • 
daine nasal 'tighinn a mach air an dorus. ^ Oh," ars' esan ris an dnine 
nasal, <*ciod e so aig tigh an Easbuig an nochd?" <<Tha gnothnch 
mòr sonraichte,** ars' an duine nasal, ** Albanach musach tha an and, 


a^ns e maoidheadh a nighean a ghoid, ga dearbh cha-n 'dl gin an 
Albainn a ghoideas i leis an fhaire a th' oirre." ** Uh, tha mi cinnt- 
each nach 'eil," an' an gille, agus thionndadh e uaith. ** Tha fear an 
Saaunn an tràthaa," ars' esa, *<a dh' fheumas feachainn ris co dhiiibh." 
Dh' fhalbh e, agns thug e taillearao an teaghlaich rioghail air. Dh' 
fharraid e dhinbh an robh dad de dheiseachan deas aca do naislibh 
mora. '^Gha-n 'eil/' an' an taillear, «ach deise a th* againn do 
nighean an righ, agus t^ d'a maighdean choimheadachd." '^ Oiod 
e," ars' gille a Probhaisd *<dh' iarras tn air iad sin fhèin car da uair a 
dh' iiine? " « Oh," ars' an taillear, ** tha eagal orm nach fhaod mi 
an toirt dnit" *' Na bitheadh eagal air bhith ort," ars' gille a Pro- 
bhaisd, **piUghidhmi thu agns bheir mi an da dheise gnn bhend, gan 
mhillidh air an ais. Gheibh thu cend marg," ars' esan. Sbanntaich 
an taillear an t-air^od mòr nd 'us thug e dha iad. Dh' fhalbh e 'us 
fhuair e an gille bh' aig an oidhche roimhe. Chaidh iad dh' aite 
sbnruichte 'us fhuair iad iad fh^in a chur 'an uidheam 's an da dheise. 
Dh' fhalbh iad 'n uair a fhuair iad iad fh^ cho maith 'us bu mhaith 
leo gu dorus an Easbuig. Fhuair e macb mnn d'rainig e an 
dorus, *n nair a thigeadh aon air bith do 'n teaghlach rioghal ga 
tigh an Easbnig, nach e an dorus a bhualadh a dheanadh iad, ach 
sgriob a thabhairt le barr an coise aig bonn an doruis. Thainig 
esan a dh' ionnsuidh an doruis agus riun e sgrioba. Bha dorsair 
aig an dorus an oidhche sin, 'us dh' fhalbh e 'na ruith dh' ionnsuidh ' 
an Easbuig. " Tha aon de 'n teaghlach rioghail aig an dorus," ars' 
esan. ** Cba-n 'eil," ars' an t-Easbuig, ** is e th' ann am meirleach 
Albannach." Sbeall an gille troimh thoU na h-iuchrach 'us chunnaic 
e gur e coslas da bhean uasail a bh' ann. Dh' fhalbh e dh' ionnsuidh 
a mhaighistir 'us dh' innis e dha. Cbaidh a mhaighistir dh' ionn- 
suidh an doruis 'us sheall e fh^ln. Bheireadh an gille a bha mach 
Bgriob an tràthsa 's a rìs, 'us e a cath-throid ris an Easbuig, 'us e ri 
amaideachd. Sheall an t-Easbnig 'us dh' aithnich e gur e guth nigh- 
inn an ligh bha 's an dorus. Fosgailear gu grad an dorus, 'us deanar 
a chromaidh gu làr rithe. Bhuail nighean an i^h ris air son a 
nighean chur ann an geall 's am bith, gun robh feadhain a gabhul 
brath air airson a leithid a dheanamh. ** Cha mhòr a b' fhiach thn 
a dheanadh a leithid gun fhlòs domhsa, 'us cha migeadh tu leas a 
leithid a dh' othail 'us a dh' amaideachd a dheanamh." *' Gabhaibh 
sibh mo leithsgeul," ars' esan. '* Cha-n urrainn mi do leithsgeul 
a ghabhail," ars' ise. Stigh thug e nighean an righ do 'n t-seòmar 
's an robh a nighean 'us an fheadhain a bha 'g a faireadh. Bha ise 
'ammeadhon an t-sebroair air caithir 'n a suidhe 'us càchceithir 
thimchioU oirre. Ars' nighean an righ rithe, ** Mo ghaoil, 's e d' athair 


an daine gun tùr a chuir 's a chnnnart tbu, 'ns nan d* thug e f ios 
domhsa 'us do chuir far an robh mise, aon s 'ain bith thigeadh a d' 
choir, rachadh an crochach *us a bharrachd air sin, an losgadh. 
Falbh," ars* ise ris an Easbuig, *' a 'd chodal, 'us cuiribh fa sgaoil a 
chuideachd mhbr so mus bi iad a magadh oirbh.** Thubhairt an t- 
Easbuig ris a chuideachd gum faodadh iad gabhail mu thàmh, gun 
d' thugadh nighean an ligh, 's a maighdean choimheadachd an aire 
dh' a nigheansa. "N uair a fhuair nighean an righ uile gu leir air 
falbh iad, '* Thig thusa, a nighinn mo ghaoi], cuid a riumsa gn tigh 
ligh na rioghachd." Mach a thug nighean an i^h ; bha an t-each 
donn goireasach ùce, agus cho luath 's a fhuair an t-Albannach 
mach i far an robh an t-each donn, tilgear dheth ann an kite dorch 
an deise. Chuir e uidheam eile air as ceann 'eudaich fhèin 'us air 
muin an eich chuir e i. Cuirear dhathigh an gille leis na deiseachan 
dh' ionnsuidh an tàiUeir. Phaigh e an gille 'us thubhairt e ris a 
choinneachadh an sud an ath oidhche. Leum esan suas air an each 
dhonn aii; tigh an Easbuig, 'us air a thug e gu tigh a mhaighistir. 6e 
bu mhoch a thainig an la, bu mhoiche na sin a thainig a mhaigistir a 
dh' ionnsuidh an stàbuill. *'Bha esan 'us nighean an Easbuig 'n an 
luidhe 'n a leabaidhse, 'us dhiiisg e 'n uair dh' fhairich e a mhaigh- 
istir." '* Cba bu chall leam mo shaothair," ars' esan, " nam bitheadh 
m' Albannach bochd romharo an so an diugh." " Eh, gu bheil mi," 
ars' esan, '* agus nighean an Easbuig agam ann a so." ^ Oh," ars' 
esan, ''bha meas agam ort roimhe, acb a nis tha measmòr agam ort." 
Be sin De-sathuim. Bha aige-san agus aig a mhaighistir gu dhol 
a choinneachadh an Easbuig an la sin cuideachd. Chaidh an t« 
Easbuig agus am Probhalst an coinnimh a ch^ile mar a b' àbhalsd. 
Nam b' olc an coltas bh' air an Easbuig an la roimhe, bha e na bu 
mhios' uile an la sin. Bha gille a Phrobhaisd 'n a each 'us 'na dhioll-* 
aid an deigh a mhaighistir. *N uair a thainig e far an robh an t- 
Easbuig cha robh aig ris ach ** a mheirlich 'us a shiaoitir ?" <* Faod- 
aidh tu do bheul a dhhnadh," ars' an gille, ** cha 'n urrainn thu sin 
fh^in a radh rium le ceartas. Cuir a null mo dheich ceud marg an 
80." Phaigh e an t-airgiod. BhH e'g a chkineadh. *< Od dhuine," 
ars' esan, '' leig dhiot do chaineadh, cuiridh mi an deich ceud maig 
riut gun goid mi thu fh^n an nochd." *' Gun goid thu mise, a bhiaad,'* 
ars' esa, ** cha-n fhaigh thu a chead." Chuir e an deich ceud marg ris. 
** Gheibh mi an deich ceud marg ud air ais," ars' an t-£asbuig, '< ach 
cuiridh mise cuig ceud deug marg riut nach goid thu mise." *'Ni mi 
cordadh riut,** ars' an gille. Cheangail am Probhaist am bargan ead- 
orra. Dh' fhalbh an gille 'us a mhaighistir dhathigh. *' Laochain,* 
ars' a mhaighistir, ** bha meas m6r agam ort gns an diugh, caillidh ta 


na fhuair thu dh* airgiod agus cha-n urrainn tbu an duine ghoid." 
** Cha-n 'eil eagal sain bith orm à sin," ars' an gille. *N uair thainig 
an oidbche dh' fhalbh esan, 'us thug e timchioll tigh an Easbuig air. 
*' An sin smuainich e gun rachadh e far aa robh iasgairean a bhaile, 
dh' fheuchainn ciod e cbitheadh e acasan. 'N uair a tliainig e far 
an robh na h-iasgairean dh' fbarraid e dhiubh, an robh dad de 
bhradanan aca air an tir-mharbhadh. Thubhairt iad ris gun robh. 
*'Ma dh' fheannas sibh," ars' esan, **na h-uiread so a dh' iasg, 
bheir mi dhuibh na h-uiread so dh' airgiod, no airgiod sam bith 
a 's coir dha bhi." Thubhairt na h-iasgairean gun deanadh, 
'us rinn iad e. Thug iad dha de chroiciunean èÌAg na shaoil leis a 
dheanadh clebchd, am faide 'us an lend a shir e. Dh' fhalbh e an sin 
dh' ionnsuidh nan tàillearan. Thuuhairt e rU na taillearan, an dean- 
adh iad deise dha de chroicinnean an èisg, a cbionn dk uair dheag a 
st-oidhche, 'us gum faigheadh iad pki^headh air a shon. Dh' innis 
iad dha ciod e an t-suim a ghabhadh iad. Ghabh iad tomhas a ghille 
'us thòisich iad air an deise, Bha an deise ullamh chionn an da 
uair dheug. Cha-n fhaodadh iad 'bhi na b' f haide ; bha an Dòmhnach 
'tighinn a stigh. Dh' fhalbh e leis an deise 'us 'n uair a fhuair e e 
fh^in goirid eaglais an Easbuig chuir e uime an deise. Fhuair e 
jucbar a dh' fhosgladh an eaglais 'us chaidh e stigh. Chaidh e do 'n 
chrannaig air ball. Siiil de 'n tug an dorsair uaith 'us faire mhòr 
air an Easbuig, dh' fhalbh e, 'us thubhairt e gun robh solus 's an 
eaglais. '* Solus," ars' a mhaighi>tir, " raca thusa null 'us faic ciod e 
an solas a th' ann." Bha e an dèigh an da uair dheug an so. ** O," 
ars' an dorsair 'us e tighinn, ** tha. duine a' searmonachadh ann." 
Tharruing an t-Easbuig 'uaireadair 'us chunnaic e gun robh toiseach 
an dbmhnaich a tighinn a stigh. Dh' fhalbh e 'n a ruith dh' ionn- 
suidh na h-eaglaise. 'JN' uair a chunnajc e an soillse bha 's an eaglaia 
'us na h-uile car chuir an duine bha 'searmonachadh dbeth, ghabh e 
eagal. Dh' fhosgail e beagan an dorus 'us chuir e a cbeann stigh dh' 
fhaicinn ciod e an Qoltas a bh' air. Am fear bha 's a chrannaig cha 
robh cknain bha fo na rionnagan nach robh e toirt; treis air. 'N uair 
a thigeadh e dh' ionnsuidh na h-uile cknain a thuigeadh an t-Easbuig 
is ann 'cur iomchar air an Easbui>>: a bha e gun robh e air call a ch^ill. 
Sud stigh an t-Flasbuig agus theirigear air a ghliinan aig bonn na 
crannaig. Thoisich esan air asluchadh ann an sin, 'us 'n uair chunn- 
aic e an dearsadh bha 's a chrannaig ghabh e gu cùram leis na bha e 
ag radh ris. Mu dheireadh thubhairt e' ris, nan gealladh e dhasan gun 
deanadh e aitbreachas glan 'us gum falbhadn e leis-san gun d' 
thugadh e maitheanas dha. Ghealladh an t- Easbuig sin da. " Falbh 
learn sa," ars' ^san} ** gns am faigh mi beagan Uine ort.** *' Falbh- 


aidV* ars' an t-Easbuig, " ged a b* ann as an t-saoghal dh' iarradh ta 
orm falbh.** Dh' fhalbh e leis, *a8 dh* fhalbh an gUle roimhe. 
Rainig iad stabnll a Phrobhaisd. Fhnair e kite suidh do 'n Easbaig 
*U8 choir e *n a shuidhe e. Shuidh e fh^in ; cha raigeadh iad a leas 
solus, oir bha eudach a ghille *deanamh soluis far an robh iad. 
Bha e 'mineachadh do 'n Easbaig an sin ann an canainean 
a thuigeadh, agus ann an coid nach tuigeadh e. Bha e mar 
sin ach an robh an t-àm d'a mhaighistir tighinn *s a mhadainn. 
*N uair bha an t-am teann air laimh, thilg e dheth an deise^ lùb e 'us 
chuir e am folach i, oir bha e ris an t-soillearachd. Bha an t-Easbuig 
samhach an so, 'as thainig am Probhaisd. ** Cha bu ghearain leam mo 
shaothair nam bitheadh m* Albannach bochd romham an so an 
dingh." <* £h, ga bheil mi," ars'esan, **an so 'as an t-Easbaig agam." 
^ Ud, a laochain," ars' a mhaighistir, <* is maith a gheibhear thu.*' ** Oh, 
a dhaoir-shlaoitir," ars' an t-£asbaig, *' 'n ann mar so a rinn tint an 
gnothnch orm ?" '* Innsidh mise dhuit mar a tha,** ars* am Probhaisd, 
^ is fhearr dhuit deanamh gu maith air, no bhi'g a chàineadh; tha do 
nighean aig, agus tha d'each aig, agns d'airgiod, agns air do shon 
fh^in, cha ghleidh esa thusa, ach is fhearr dhoitse esan a ghleidh- 
eadh. Thoir e fb^in 'us do nighean ieat 'us dean banais dhoibh 
le h-eireachdeas. Dh' fhalbh e 'us chaidh edhathigh leis an Easbuig, 
'us fhuair e e fhèìn 'us a nighean a phÒFadh gu ceart 'us rinn e gu 
maith ris. Dh' fhàg mise an sin iad. 

I had the above tale from Donald M'Lean, now resident in 
the Grassmarket, Edinburgh. It is one of seyen I took down 
from his recitation about the same time. M'Lean is a native of 
Ardnamurchan, but crossed at an early age to Glenforsa in Mull, 
where he spent several years. He heard this tale recited by an 
old man, Angus M'Phie, from Ardnamurchan, who died about 
fifty years ago, and he had received it also from tradition. 
M'Lean recites his tales without the slightest hesitation, although 
in some cases their recitation occupies a couple of hours. It will 
be manifest, too, from reading the original tale here given, that 
very little variation could be allowed in the words used, and that 
the very forms of expression and words must therefore be retained 
unchanged. M'Lean's is a remarkable instance of the power of 
memory in the uneducated, shewing that it is quite possible to 
retain and recite, with perfect accuracy, compositions which 
would form a volume. He obtained his tales from different 
parties, and says they were recited in the winter evenings at the 


firesides of the old HigUanders as their chief amtisementB. 
Some of them he heard before he was fourteen years of age, and 
never heard since, and yet he retains them accurately. 

It will be observed in the tale now given that some of the 
terms used are modem, as, for instance, '' Probhaisd " (Provost), 
and not known in our older Gaelic. It is remarkable, also, that 
the bishop of London is the party fixed upon to have his effects 
stolen. This would seem to indicate that the tale originated at 
a time when the Highlanders were acquainted with bishops, and 
would carry it back to a period previous to the Reformation, the 
inhabitants, both of Ardnamurchan and Mull, having been Pres- 
byterians since that period; unless, indeed, the story has been 
imported into the Highlands from some other quarter. Its re- 
semblance to the *' Master Thief" in Mr. Dasent*s "Tales from 
the Norse," cannot fail to strike any one acquainted with these 
interesting stories. The ''Tuathanach " is translated " Yeoman," 
not that that term expresses with perfect accuracy the meaning 
of the Gaelic word, but it is the English term which comes 
nearest to it. The ' ' Tuathanach " among the Celts is a " farmer, " 
or one who holds his lands from another, but the word implies a 
certain amount of consequence and dignity, which would indicate 
that he must hold land of considerable extent. The term is mani- 
festly either the radix, or a relative of the Latin " teneo," whence 
the English "tenant," and it would seem also to be the real 
source of the word " Thane," or one who held as tenant the lands 
of the Crown. The tenants and their subholders were dis- 
tinguished as ''Tuath 'us Ceatharn," from which last is the 
Saxon '*Kem." 

T. M'L. 

Edinburgh, May 1860. 

2. Another version of this was told to me by Donald MacCraw, 
drover, September 1859, as we walked along the road in North 
Uist. It was given in return for a bit of another story, which 
also treats of clever thieves, part of which I learned from my 
piper guardian long ago. This was the fly which raised the fish. 

Two thieves once came to a gallows, and the one said to the 

** We have often heard about this thing, now let us try how 



it feels. I will pnt the rope about my neck, and do thon hang 
me, and when I have had enongh, I will grin and then thon shalt 
let me down." 

So the first thief was hanged, and when the rope tightened 
he grinned horribly, and was let down by his comrade as they 
had agreed. 

•' Well," said he, " What was it like?" 

" Not so bad as I expected," said the other. " Now I will 
hang thee and when thon hast enough, whistle." 

So the second agreed, and he was strung np in his tnm, and 
he grinned too ; bat because he would not whistle, his friend let 
him hang, and when he was tired of waiting, he emptied his 
pockets and left him there. 

*' Have you any more of that story," said I. 

'* No ; but I have one about a smith's servant," said MacCraw. 

There was once, long ago, a smith in Eirinn, and he had a 
servant who was very clever at stealing ; he could steal anything. 
His master was working with an Uachdarah, gentleman, and 
the gentleman came to the smithy to have his " powney " shod, 
(the EnglÌHh word powney is commonly used in Island Gaelic), 
and he and the smith were well with each other, and they began 
to talk, and the smith to boast of his apprentice, and how well he 
could steal. At last he offered to bet that the lad could steal 
the gentleman's horse, and the gentleman wagered five notes 
that he would not. The smith laid down the money and the bet 
was made, and they told this to the lad. 

Well, the gentleman went home, and he sent his gillies to 
watch the powney, and the lad went and he bought himself three 
bottles of whisky, and when the night came he went to the 
" square " (this word has also crept into Gaelic, and is applied 
to a set of farm buildings) of the gentleman, and he laid him- 
self down amongst the litter, and he began to snore and snort 
and pretend to be dnmk. So out came one of the watchmen to 
see what was the matter, and he began to handle the drunken 
man, and presently he felt a bottle in his pocket ; then he drew 
it out and he told the others, and they drank it all up. Then they 

** Let us see if there is not another bottle in the other pocket." 
So they went and they rolled over the drunken man, who kept 


on snoriog and snorting, and they found a second bottle, and then 
they went into the stable again. At the end of a little while the 
lad heard them getting very " wordy " within, and soon they 
came oat again a third time, and they rolled him about, and 
found the third bottle, and that finished them off and they fell 
fast asleep. Then the lad got up and stole the powney, and 
went to the smithy and then he .went to sleep himself. 

In the morning the gentleman came to the smithy, and he 
had to pay the bet, for the powney was there before him. 

"Well," said the lad, "that is but a small matter, I will 
wager you now twenty notes that T will steal your daughter." 
" I will take the wager," said the gentleman. 
And the lad said, " Now master, lay down the twenty notes 
for me." So the smith laid them down, and the gentleman laid 
down his, and the wager was made. 

(The word " note " is almost always used in Gaelic, because 
very filthy one pound notes are common in Scotland. The value 
of the note is expressed by "pound saxon." It seems to be 
necessary to produce the money, and to deposit it when a wager 
is laid.) 

Now no time was fixed for stealing the daughter, so the 
gentleman went home and he set a watch on his daughter's 
room, who were to go in and out all night long. The lad went 
about the country and he travelled till he came to Baillb puibt 
a seaport town on the other side, for it was in Eirinn ; and there 
he remained till he made friends with a ship captain, and after 
much talk (which was given by the narrator) the captain agreed ' 
to help him. So the lad dressed himself up as a woman, and the 
captain said, " Now I will say that I have a sister on board, and 
if we are asked to the house of the gentleman when the ship 
arrives, do thou as best thou canst." 

So the ship sailed, and she sailed round Eirinn till she came 
to the gentleman's house, and then the captain went up and told 
how he had been a long voyage to the Indies. 

Then the gentleman asked if he had any one else on board, 
and he said that he had a sister, and that she was very un- 

" Oh ! " said the gentleman, " ask her to come up and she 

shall sleep in my daughter's room." 


So the captain's sister came np and they had a pleasant even- 
ing, and they all went to bed. 

Bat the captain's sister could not sleep, and she said to the 
gentleman's daughter, " What are these men that are always 
walking about the room, and up and down before the windows ? '* 

And the girl said, " There is a bad man who has laid a wager 
that he will steal me, and my father is afraid that he may come 
any night, and these are the watchmen who are guarding me. 
It is not for the money, but my father is so angry, because that 
bad man beat him once already." 

" Oh," said the captain's sister, " I am so nervous after the 
sea. I have a sort of nerves (the narrator used the English 
word) that I shall never sleep all night. I shall never get a 
wink of sleep ! I would be so much obliged to you if you would 
have the goodness to send them away." 

And so at last the men were sent away, but the captain's 
sister could not sleep a bit better, and she said, 

" When I was in the Indies I used to be so troubled with the 
heat, that I got a habit of walking out at night, perhaps I could 
sleep if I were to take a little walk now. Will you be so very 
kind as to come out for a little walk with me. 

So the gentleman's daughter got up, and out they went for a 
walk, but when they had walked a little way, the lad carried her 
oif bodily to the smithy. 

In the morning the gentleman came and he paid the bet, and 
it is told that the lad married the daughter. 

" And is that all he ever stole ? " said I. 

" That's all I ever heard about it at all events," said Mac- 

3. In the Sutherland collection is this reference. '• The 
Master Thief (see Dasent's Tales, and Thorpe's Tales). This 
was some twenty or thirty years ago a common schoolboy's tale. 
I have tried in vain to get it written down in Gaelic, but they tell 
it with all that is in the Norwegian version, and more besides, 
such as the theft of some rabbits (how performed I cannot hear), 
and that of a lot of calves. The Master Thief stole these for the 
robbers, by imitating in the woods and upland pastures the cry 
of the cows." C. 1). 


4. Another bit of the Master Thief, as ^ven in the Norse 
Tales, forms part of a story which is referred to in Ko. 48. It is 
the incident of the man who is persuaded to put his finger into 
what he believes to be a cask full of liquor, while the clever rogue 
rides off on his horse, on pretence of catching himself. 

5. I have heard another of the incidents, as a theft, accom- 
plished by tempting a man to run after broken-legged rabbits. 

This story, then, is now widely spread in the Highlands, 
however it got there. The Rev. Mr. MacLauchlan, one of the 
best-known and most respected men in Edinburgh, gets one ver- 
sion from an old man in the Grassmarket, who gives it a pedigree 
of some fifty years ; I got another myself from a drover in Uist ; 
a very able collector in Sutherland says it was common there 
some twenty or thirty years ago, and is told still ; and a scrap of 
the Norwegian version comes from Islay. They resemble other 
versions in other languages, but they resemble each other more 
than they do any published version which I know ; and there 
seems to be but one explanation of the facts, namely, that this is 
some very old tradition, common to many races and languages, 
and derived from some original of unknown antiquity. 

The incidents in the German of Grimm are shortly these : — 

A poor old man is visited by a gentleman in a grand carriage, 
who turns out to be his son who had run away and become a 
master thief. They go to the Count, who sets him three tasks to 
try his skill : to steal his favourite horse ; to take away from his 
wife and from him the counterpane of their bed, and the ring ofi" 
the lady^s finger ; and, thirdly, to steal the parson and clerk out 
of the church, on pain of his neck. 

He makes the watch drunk, and steals the horse. He makes 
the Count shoot at a dead body, and while the Count is gone to 
bury the supposed thief, he appears as the Count, and gets the 
ring and bed-cover from the Countess. 

And he entices the parson and clerk into a sack by pretending 
to be St. Peter. 

The Norse story has many more incidents, but amongst them 
are five tasks set by a great man to try the skill of the Master 

(1.) To steal the roast from the spit on Sunday, which he 


does bj enticing the servants to run after three hares which he 
lets oat of a bag. 

(2.) To steal father Laurence, the priest, which he does by 
pretending to be an angel, and so enticing him into a sack. 

(3). To steal twelve horses from the stable, which he does by 
appearing as an old woman, and making twelve grooms drunk 
with a sleepy drink in brandy. 

(4.) To steal the horse from under the squire, which he does 
nearly in the same way as the clever weaver in the Islay 

(5.) To steal the sheet of the gentleman's bed, and the shift 
off his wife's back, which he does in nearly the same way as it is 
done in the German version. 

And though the daughter is not stolen in the Norse tale, it is 
to gain the daughter that all these tasks are performed. 

Now all these are clearly the same as the second '* Favola " 
in the first book of Straparola, printed in Venice, 1567. In this 
Italian story the scene is Perugia, the clever thief, a certain 
Cassandrino, and the man who tries his skill "II Pretore/' the 

Cassandrino first steals the Priest's bed from under him, by 
breaking through the roof and throwing down the dead body of a 
recently buried doctor which he had dug up and dressed in his 
clothes. The Priest thinks that he has fallen down and killed 
himself, goes to bury him, and finds his bed gone when he 

Next he steals the horse from the stable. The watchman 
sleeps in the saddle ; he props him up on sticks, and steals away 
the horse. 

Lastly, he steals a country clergyman, whom he tempts into 
a sack by dressing as an angel and standing on an altar after 
matins, exclaiming " Chi vuol andar in gloria entri nel sacco." 
He gets a hundred florins of gold each time, and is threatened 
with terrible punishment in case of failure. The disguise is a 
white robe, painted paper wings, and a shining diadem. 

The Italian story again resembles, though in a less degree, 
the Egyptian story of Bhampsinitus, told in Herodotus. (Raw- 
linson's Herod, vol. ii. p. 191 .) 

The king had a treasure chamber built of hewn stone, but the 


builder contrived a tarning-stoDe in the wall, and told the secret 
to his sons when he was about to die. 

The sons plundered the treasury, and the king set a trap 
which caaght one of them. The other cut his head off to pre- 
vent discovery, and went home with the head, leaving the body 
in the trap. The king, much puzzled, exposed the headless body, 
with guards beside it, to watch if any one should be seen weeping 
near it. The mother sent her son to- get back the body, and he 
did very much as the clever thief in the modern stories, who stole 
the horses ; he disguised himself, and enticed the guards into 
drinking till they fell asleep ; then he shaved half their beards off, 
and took away the body. 

Then the king sent his daughter to find out ; and the clever 
thief went to her, and told her all about it ; but when she tried 
to seize him, he gave her the hand of a dead man, which he had 
cut off and brought with him ; and so he made his escape, leav- 
ing the hand. 

Then the king proclaimed a free pardon for the clever thief 
who had outwitted him three times, and when he came he gave 
him his daughter in marriage. 

Other references are given in Grimm's third volume (see 
page 260), from which it appears that this story is very widely 
spread in Europe. Now the Gaelic agrees with Herodotus, Stra- 
parola, and Grimm, in that there are three tasks accomplished 
by a clever thief; and the number three is almost universally used 
in Gaelic tales. 

One of the Gaelic incidents, that of the drunken gaards, 
agrees with the story in Herodotus, and is common to all those 

The Gaelic agrees with the Italian, German, and Korse, in the 
theft of the horse and the clergyman. 

The Gaelic alone has the theft of the daughter. The Nor- 
wegian version mentions the daughter, and so does the story of 
Rhampsinitus, and there seems to be fair ground for arguing that 
all this must have come from some original which it is vain to 
search for in any modern work or in any modern age. Such at 
least is my own opinion, and I have endeavoured to give others 
the means of judging for themselves so far as I am able, by giv- 
ing all I get unaltered, and by naming all my authorities. 


Another Gaelic story, the "Gillie Carrach,'* of which 1 lately 
(Jaoe 1860) reoeived a long version from John Dewar, contains 
three incidents very like those in Herodotus; mixed with others 
which are new to me, and others which I have in Gaelic from 
other sources, one of which has a parallel in Italian and in 

It is curious to remark, that the very same ideas seem to have 
occurred to Herodotus, while on his travels, which now arise in 
the minds of worthy pedagogues in the Highlands. They ohject 
to old stories told by peasants, because they are ''fictions," and 
not historically true. I have repeatedly met men who look on 
the telling of these tales as something almost wicked. 

Thus wrote Herodotus, and those who object to traditionary 
fictions might take example by the father of history, and while 
they disbelieve the stories, write them down. 

" Such as think the tales told by the Egyptians credible, are 
free to accept them for history. For my own part, 1 propose to 
myself, thoaghout my whole work, faithfully to record the tra- 
ditions of the several nations." 

Surely if Herodotus did not think it beneath him to record 
such frivolous things, and if men of the highest acquirements 
now make them a study, they are not wholly unworthy of 


From Mrs. MacGeachy, Farmer's Wife, Islaj. 

T^HERE was formerly a poor widow, and she had 
-*- three daughters, and all she had to feed them was a 
kailyard. There was a great gray horse who was coming 
every day to the yard to eat the kaiL Said the eld- 
est of the daughters to her mother, " I will go to the 
yard to-day, and I will take the spinning-wheel with 
me, and I will keep the horse out of the kaiL" " Do,'* 
aaid her mother. She went out The horse came ; 
she took the distaff from the wheel and she struck 
him. The distaff stuck to the horse, and her hand 
stuck to the distaff. Away went the horse till they 
reached a green hill, and he called out, " Open, open, 
oh green hill, and let in the king's son ; open, open, 
oh green hill^ and let in the widow's daughter." The 
hill opened, and they went in. He warmed water for 
her feet, and made a soft bed-for her limbs, and she 
lay down that night. Early on the morrow, when he 
rose, he was going to hunt He gave her the keys of 
the whole house, and he said to her that she might 
open every chamber inside but the one. " By all she 
ever saw not to open that one." That she should have 
his dinner ready when he should come back, and that 
if she would be a good woman that he would marry 


her. When he went away she began to open the cham- 
bera Every one, as she opened it^ was getting finer 
and finer, till she came to the one that was forbidden. 
It seemed to her, "What might be in it that she 
might not open it too." She opened it^ and it was 
fall of dead gentlewomen, and she went down to the 
knee in blood. Then she came out, and she was clean- 
ing her foot ; and though she were cleaning it, still she 
could not take a bit of the blood off it A tiny cat 
came where she was, and she said to her, "K she 
would give a little drop of milk that she would clean 
her foot as well as it was before. "Thou ! ugly beast ! 
be off before thee. Dost thou suppose that I won't 
clean them better than thou V* " Yes, yes, take thine 
own way. Thou wilt see what will happen to thee 
when himself comes homa" He came home, and 
she set the dinner on the board, and they sat down 
at it. Before they ate a bit he said to her, " Wert 
thou a good woman to-day V " I was," said she. 
" Let me see thy foot, and I will tell thee whether 
thou wert or wert not." She let him see the one that 
was clean. " Let me see the other one," said he. When 
he saw the blood, " Oh ! ho !" said he. He rose and 
took the axe and took her head off, and he threw her 
into the chamber with the other dead people. He laid 
down that night, and early on the morrow he went to 
the widow's yard again. Said the second one of the 
widow's daughters to her mother — " I will go out to- 
day, and I will keep the gray horse out of the yard." 
She went out sewing. She struck the thing she was 
sewing on the horse. The cloth stuck to l^e horse, 
and her hand stuck to the clotL They reached 
the hilL He called as usual to the hill ; the hill 
opened, and they went in. He warmed water 
for her feet^ and made a soft bed for her limbs, and 


they lay down that night. Early in the morning he 
was going to hunt, and he said to her that she should 
open every chamber inside but one, and " by all she 
ever saw" not to open that one. She opened every 
chamber till she came to the little one, and because she 
thought " What might be in that one more than the 
rest that she might not open it V* She opened it^ and it 
was full of dead gentlewomen, and her own sister 
amongst them. She went down to the knee in blood. 
She came out, and she was cleaning herself, and the 
little cat came round about, and she said to her, " If 
thou wilt give me a tiny drop of nfilk I will clean thy 
foot as well as it ever was." " Thou ! ugly beast ! 
begone. Dost thou think that I will not clean it my- 
self better than thou V " Thou wilt see," said the cat, 
" what will happen to thee when himself comes home." 
When he came she set down the dinner, and they 
sat at it. Said he — " Wert thou a good woman to- 
day ?" '* I was," said she. " Let me see thy foot, 
and I will tell thee whether thou wert or wert not*' 
She let him see the foot that was clean. " Let me see 
the other one," said he. She let him see it. " Oh ! 
ho !"• said he, and he took the axe and took her head 
ofT. He lay down that night. Early on the mor- 
row, said the youngest one to her mother, as she 
wove a stocking — " I will go out with my stocking to- 
day, and I will watch the gray horse. I will see what 
happened to my two sisters, and I will return to tell 
you." " Do," said her mother, " and see thou dost not 
stay away. She went out, and the horse came. She 
struck the stocking on the horse. The stocking stuck 
to the horse, and the hand stuck to the stocking. They 
went away, and they reached the green hill. He called 
out as usual, and they got in. He warmed water for 
her feety and made a soft bed for her limbs, and they 


lay down that night On the morrow he was going to 
hunt, and he said to her — " If she would behave her- 
self as a good woman till he returned, that they would 
be married in a few days/' He gave her the keys, and 
he said to her that she might open every chamber that 
was within but that little one, " but see that she should 
not open that one/' She opened every one, and when 
she came to this one, because she thought " what might 
be in it that she might not open it more than the rest f 
she opened it^ and she saw her two sisters there dead, 
and she went down to the two knees in blood. She 
came out^ and she was cleaning her feet^ and she could 
not take a bit of the blood off them. The tiny cat 
came where she was, and she said to her — " Give me 
a tiny drop of milk, and I will clean thy feet as well as 
they were before." " I will give it^ thou creature; I 
will give thee thy desire of milk if thou will clean my 
feet." The cat licked her feet as well as they were 
before. Then the king came home, and they set down 
his dinner, and they sat at it. Before they ate a bit, 
he said to her, " Wert thou a good woman to-day ? " 
"I was middling," said she; I have no boasting to 
make of myself. " Let me see thy feet^" said he. She 
let him see her feet " Thou wert a good woman," 
said he ; " and if thou boldest on thus till the end of 
a few days, thyself and I will be married." On the 
morrow he went away to hunt. When he went away 
the little cat came where she was. " Now, I will tell 
thee in what way thou wilt be quickest married to him," 
said the cat. " There are," said she, " a lot of old 
chests within. Thou shalt take out three of them ; thou 
shalt clean them. Thou shalt say to him next nighty 
that he must leave these three chests, one about of 
them, in thy mother's house, as they are .of no use 
here; that there are plenty here without them; thou 



shalt say to him that he must not open any of them on 
the road, or else, if he opens, that thou wilt leave 
him ; that thou wilt go up into a tree top, and that 
thou wilt be looking, and that if he opens any of them 
that thou wilt see. Then when he goes hunting, thou 
shalt open the chamber, thou shalt bring out thy two 
sisters j thou shalt draw on them the magic club, and 
they will be as lively and whole as they were before ; 
thou shalt clean them then, and thou shalt put one in 
each chest of them, and thou shalt go thyself into the 
third one. Thou shalt put of silver and of gold, as 
much in the chests as will keep thy mother and thy 
sisters right for their lives. When he leaves the 
chests in thy mother^s house, and when he returns he 
will fly in a wild rage ; he will then go to thy mother's 
house in this fury, and he will break in the door ; be 
thou behind the door, and take off his head with the 
bar ; and then he will be a king^s son, as precious as 
he was before, and he will marry thee. Say to thy 
sisters, if he attempts the chests to open them by the 
way, to call out, * I see thee, I see thee,' and that he 
will think that thou wilt be calling out in the tree.'* 
When he came home he went away with the chests, 
one after one, till he left them in her mother's house. 
When he came to a glen, where he thought she in the 
tree could not see him, he began to let the chest down 
to see what was in it ; she that was in the chest called 
out, " I see thee, I see thee ! " 

" Good luck be on thy pretty little head,'* said he, 
" if thou canst not see a long way !" 

lliis was the way with him each journey, till he 
left the chests altogether in her mother's house. 

When he returned home on the last journey, and 
saw that she was not before him, he flew in a wild 
rage ; he went back to the widow's house, and when 


he reached the door he drove it in before him. She 
was standing behind the door, and she took his head 
off with the bar. Then he grew a king's son, as 
precious as ever came ; there he was within, and they 
were in great gladness. She and himself married, and 
they left with her mother and sisters, of gold and 
silver, as much as left them well for life. 


Bha baintreach ann roimhe, 's bha tri nigheanan aice, *8 is e na bha 

aice airson am beathachadh gàrradh càil. Bha each mòr glas a' h- 

aQe latha 'tighinn do 'n ghàrradh a dh'itheadh a 'chàil. *' Thairt an t4 

ba shine de na nigheanan r'a mathair theid mise d*an ghàrradh an 

dingh 's bheir mi ieam a chnibheal, 's cumaidhmi *n t-each as a* cbàL" 

" Dean," ars' a mathair. Dh* fholbh i mach. Thainig an t-each. Thagi 

'chuigeal as a' chuibheil 's bhaail i e. Lean a* chaigeal ris an each, 's 

lean a làmhsa ris a* chuigeel. Air folbh a bha*n t-each, gas an d* 

rainigecnoc uaine, *s ghlaoidh e. ** Fosgail-fosgail a chnaic uaine *8 

ieig mac an righ stigh. Fosgail — fosgail a chnoic uaine 's leig nighean 

na baintrich a stigh." Dh' fhosgail an cnoc, 's chaidh iad a stigh. 

Kinn e uisge blàth d'a casan 's leaba bhog d'a leasan, 's chaidh i 

laidhe an oidhche sin. Mochthrath an la'r na mhaireach nur a dh' 

eiridh esan, bha e 'dol a shealgaireachd. Thug e dh'ise iuchraichean 

an tighe air fad, *& thuirt e rithe gum faodadh i h-uile seombar a stigh 

fhosgladh ach an t-aon ; air na chunnaic i namh gun am fear sin . 

fhosgladh; a dhinneir-san a bhi aice reidh nur a thilleadh e ; 's n' am 

biodh i 'na bean mhath gum pòsadh e L Nur a dh' fholbh esan 

thòisich ise air fosglaidh nan seombraichean. A' h-uile fear mar a dh' 

fhosgladh i bha e' dol na bu bhreagha 's na bu bhrfagha, gus an 

d' thainig i gus an fhear a bh' air a bhacail. Their leatha d^ 'dh 

fhaodadh a bhith ann nach fhaodadh 1 fhosgladh cuid( achd. Dh* 

fhosgail i e, 's bha e Ian do mnathan uaisle roarbh, 's chaidh i 'sios 

gus a' ghlim ann am full. Thainig i mach an sin, 's blia i 'glanadh a 

coise, 's ged a bhiodh i ga glanadh fathast cha b' urrainn i mir de 'n 

fhuil a thoirt di Thainig cat crion far an robh i, 's thuirt 1 rithe, 

na'n d' thugadh i dh* ise dear beag bainne, gun glanadh i *caa cho 

math *s a bha 1 riamh. ** Thusa 'bheathaich ghrannda I bi *folbh 


romhad ; am bheil dùil agad nacb glan mi f^in Ud aa 's fhearr na 
thusa ?** ** Seadh, seadh ! leig dhnit t Chi thu d^ dh' èireas doit ma 
a thlg e fi^in dachaidh t " Thàinìg esan dachaidh, 's chuir ise an 
dinneir air a' bhòrd, 's shuidh iad sios aice. Ma'n d' ith iad mir 
thairt esan rithe. <* An robh thu a*d' bhean mhath an dingh ?" ** Bba," 
urs' ise, " Leig fhaicinn dòmhsa do chas, *s innsidh mi dhnit cò-aca 
*bha na nach robh." Leig i fhaicinn da an tè 'bha glan. <* Leig 
fhaicinn domh, an te eile " urs' esan. Nar a chnnnaic e' *n fhuil, 
<< O ! ho I" urs' e, 's dh' ^iridh e, 's ghabh e 'n taagh, s thug e 'n oeann 
di, 's thilg e 'stigh do 'n t-seombar i leis an fheadhain mharbh, eile. 

Chaidh e laidhe an oidhche sin, *s mochthrath an la 'r na 
mhàireach dh' fholbh e gu gàrradh na baintrich a rithisd. Thuirt 
an darna te do nigheanan ua baintrich r'a màthair. ** Th^id mi 
mach an diugh, 's cumaidh mi 'n t-each glas as a' ghàrradh." Chaidh 
i 'mach a' fuaghaL Bhuail i 'rud a bha aice 'ga 'fhuaghal air an 
each ; lean an t*aodach ris an each ; 's lean a làmh ris an aodach. 
Ràinig iad an cnoc. Ghlaoidh e mur a b' àbhaist dha ris a' chnoc. 
Dh' fhosgail an cnoc, 's chaidh iad a stigh. Rinn e msge blàth d*a 
casan, 's leaba bbog d'a leasan, 's chaidh iad a laidhe an oidhche sin. 
Mochthrath an la'r na mhàireach blia esan a' folbh a shealgaireachd« 
's thuirt e rithe h-uile seombar a stigh fhosgladh, ach an aon fhear, 's 
air na chunnaic i riamh gun am fear sin fhosgladh. Dh' fhosgail i 
h-uile seombar gus an d' thkinig i gus an fhear- bheag, 's air leatha 
d^ dh' fhaodadh a bhith anns an fhear sin na 's motha na each nach 
fhaodadh i 'fhos-gladh. Dh' fhosgail i e, 's bha e Ian de mhnatban 
uaisle marbha, 's a piuthar f^in 'nam measg. Chaidh i sios 'ga gliin 
ann am foil. Thàinig i 'mach, 's bha i 'ga glanadh f^in, 's thàinig an 
cat beag ma'n cuairt, 's thuirt i rithe. ''* Ma bheir thu dbòmhsa deur 
crion bainne glanaidh mi do chas cho math 's a bha i riamh? " ** Thus* 
a bheathaich ghrannda ! Gabh romhad ! Am bheil dhil agad nach 
glan mi fèin i na 's fhearr na thusa ? " ** Chi thu," urs' an cat, '* de 
dh' èireas duit nor a thig e fein dachaidh." Nur a thàinig e 
dhachaidh chuir ise sios an dinneir, 's shuidh iad aice. Thuirt esan 
rithe. **An robh thua'd' bhean mhath an lUugh?" ** Bha," urs' ise. 
*^ Leig fhaicinn domh do chas, 's innsidh mi dhuit cb-aca 'bha na nach 
robh." Leig i fhaicinn da 'chas a bha glan. '* Leig fhaicinn domh 
an te eile," urs' esan. Leig i fhaicinn i. ** O ho I " urs' esan, 's ghabh 
e 'n tuagh, 's thug e 'n ceann di. 

Chaidh e 'laidhe an oidhche sin. Mochthrath an la 'r na mhàir- 
each, urs' an te b' òige r'a màthair, 's i figheadh stocaidh. ** Th^id 
mise 'mach le m' stocaidh an diugh, 's fairidh mi 'n t-each glas; chi mi 
àè thachair do m' dha phiuthair ; 's tillidh mi dh' innseadh dhuibhse." 


** Dean," urs' a màthair, 's fench nach fan thn air £dlbli.'* Chaidh i' mach, 
's thàinig an t-each. Bhuail i 'n stocaidh air an each. Lean an stocaidh 
ris an each, *b lean an làmh rìs an stocaidh. Dh' fholbh iad, *s ràinig lad 
an cnoc uaine. Ghlaoidh e mar a b^ àbhaistda, 's fhuair iad a stigh. 
Rinn e uisge blàth d*a casan *8 leaba bhog d*a leasan, 's chaidh iad a 
laidhe an oidhche sin. An la V na mhkireach bha e 'folbh a shealg- 
aireachd, *8 thnirt e rithise na'n dèanadh i bean mhaih gus an till- 
eadh e, ann am beagan Ikithean gum biodh iad pòsda. Thug e dhi 
na h-iachraichean, 's thnirt e rithe gum faodadh i h-uile seombar a 
bha stigh fhosgladh ach am fear beag ud,— ach fench nach fosgladh 
i 'm fear ud. Dh* fhosgail i h-uile gin ; 's nar a thàinig i gus an 
fhear so, air leatha d^ 'bhiodh ann nach fhaodadh i 'fhosgladh, na 's 
motba na each. Dh' fhosgail i e, 's chunnaic i 'da phiuthar marbh 
an sin, 's chaidh i sios g'a da ghliin ann am ftdl. Thàinig i mach, 
's bha i 'glanadh a cas, 's cha V urrainn i mir de 'n fhuil a thoirt diu. 
Tbàinig an cat crion far an robh i, 's thuirt i rithe, " Thoir dhòmhsa 
deur ciion buinne, 's glanaidh mi do chasan cho math 's a bha iad 
riamh." ** Bheir a chreutair— bheir mise dhuit do dhiol bainne ma 
ghlanas thu mo chasan." Dh' imlich an cat a casan cho math 's a 
bha iad riamh. Thàinig an ligh an sin dachaidh, 's chuir iad a sios 
a dhinneir, 's shuidh iad aice. Ma'n d' ith iad mir thuirt esan 
rithe, ** An robh thusa a'd' bhean mhath an diugh ? " ** Bha mi 
meadhonach," urs' ise, *' cha 'n 'eil uaill sam bith agam r'a dhèanadh 
asam fdin." ** Leig fhaidnn domh do chasan," urs' esan. ** Leig i 
fhaicinn da *casan. Bha thusa a'd' bbean mhath," urs' esan, ** 's ma 
leanas thu mur sin gu ceann beagan làithean bidh thu fh^in agna 
mise posda." An là'r na mhàireach dh' fholbh esan a shealgaireachd. 
Nur a dh' fholbh esan tbàinig an cat beag far an robh ise J <* Nis 
innsidh mise dhuit d^ 'n dòigh air an luaithe am bi thu pòsd' air," 
urs' an cat ** Tha," urs* ise, ** dorlach de sheanachisdeachan a stigh; 
bheir thu mach tri dhiu ; glanaidh thu iad ; their thu ris an ath 
oidhche gum feum e na tri chisdeachan sin, te ma seach dhiu, fhàg- 
ail ann an tigh do mhàthar, chionn nach 'eil feum an so orra, gu 
'bheil na leòir ann as an ioghnais ; their thu ris nach fhaod e gin 
dhiu fhosgladh air an rathad, air no ma dh* fhosglas gum fkg thu e ; 
gun d' th^id thu ann am bàrr craoibhe, *8 gum bi thu 'g amharc, 's ma 
dh* fhosglas e gin dhiu gum faic thu. An sin nur a th^d esan a 
shealgaireachd fosglaidh thu *n seombar ; bheir thu 'mach do dha 
phiuthar ; taimidh thu 'n slachdan draoidheachd orra ; 's bidh iad 
cho beb, shlàn 's a bha iad riamh. Glanaidh thn iad an sin, 's cuir- 
idh thu iè anns gach cisde dhiu, agus theid thu f^in 's an treas t^. 
Cniridh thu de dh' airgiod agus de dh' or anns na cisdeachan na 



chamas do mhàthair agus do pbeathraichean ceart r*am beò. Kar 
a dh' fhàgas e na cisdeachan ann an tigh do mhathar, 's a tliiUeaa e, 
theid e ann am feirg choimheach. Folbhaidh e *n sin gu tigli -do 
mhàthar anns an fheirg so, 's brìsdidh e stìgh an dorus. Bi thusa 
cùl an dorais, 's thoìr dheth an ceann leis an t-sàbh, 's bidh e *n sin *na 
mhac lìgh cho àlaìnn 's a bba e riamb, *8 pòsaidh e tbu. Abair rì 
d' pheatbraichean, ma bheìr e Ihtnb air na cisdeachan fhosgladh air 
an rathad lad a gUaodhach, " Chi mi thu/' chi mi tbu, ** air alt, 's 
gon saoiF e gar tosa a bhios a glaodhach 'sa' chraoibh.*' 

Nur a thill esan dachaidb, dh' fholbh e leis na cisdeachan, te an 
deigh te, gas an d' fh^g e 'n tigh a màtbar iad. Nor a thàinig e gu 
gleann far anrobh e smaointeachadh nach fhaiceadh ise 'sa' chraoibh e, 
thug e làmh air a' chisde leigeil sios airson faicinn d^ 'bh' innte. 
Ghlaoidhan te 'bha 'sa chisde, ** Chi mi tha — ^Chi mi thu." " Piseach 
air do cheann beag, bòidheach," urs' esan, *' man am fad' a chi thu." 
B'e so a bu dual dha air gach siubhal gas an d' fhàg e na cisdeachan 
air fad an tigh a mathar. Nur a thill e dhachaidh air an t-siubhal ma 
dheireadh, 's a chunnaic e nach robh ise roimhe, chaidh e ann am 
feirg choimheach. Dh' fholbh e air ais gu tigh na baintrich, 's nor 
a ràinig e 'n dorus chuir e roimhe e. Bha ise 'na seasamh air chi an 
doruis, 's thug 1 'n ceann deth leis an t-sàbh. Dh' fhàs e 'n sin 
'na mhac righ cho kluinn 'sa thàinig riamh. Chaidh e stigh an 
sin, 's bha iad ann an 's bha iad ann an toil-inn tinn mhòr. Phbs 
e fh^in agus ise, 's rinn iad banais aighearach shunndach« Chaidh 
iad dachaidh do 'n chaisteal, 's bha iad gu math comhla, 's fhaair a 
màthair 's a peathreuchean na 'chum gu math r'am beo iad. 

From Catherine Milloy, Kilmenj, Islay, March 1859. 

An old woman of the name of Hutton^ in Cowal, told this to 
Catharine Milloy^ a Cowal woman, married to a farmer at Kil- 
meny, Angus MacOeachy, a Campbelltown man. Written down 
from her dictation by Hector MacLeany Islay, May 1859. 

This story is something like The Hoodie and The Daughter 
of the King of the Skies ; it has a bit like The Mermaid. 

I have another version, told by Hugh Mac in deor, an old 
man at Bowmore, in Islay, who can recite a great many more 
Btories ; he borders upon eighty, is very poor, and has had but 
little education. He tells MacLean that be learnt his stories 
long ago from one Angus Brown, who was known by the soubri- 
quet of Aonghas Gruama, frowning Angus, of whom very queer 
anecdotes are told. Mac in deor was able to play the pipes in 

VOL. n. T 


his day. His father was conBÌdered an excellent piper; and his 
son Dugald is allowed to be one of the best pipers in the 

2d. A poor woman had three daughters and a kail-yard, and a 
horse used to come every day to eat the kail. The daughters 
went, one after the other, to drive him away with the distaff, and 
the distaff stuck to the horse and to their hands, and he dragged 
them in turn to a castle. (It is not said thai the horse became a 
man.) The first was the eldest who slept in the castle ; on the 
morrow she got a key, and was told to look at all the rooms but 
one ; and to milk the " Three Red-brown Hornless Cows." She 
looked into the room of course, and sank to her knee in blood ; 
and " a great grey cat " came about and asked for a drop milk, 
and was refused. 

When the " giant " came home he asked to see her foot, and 
it was red with blood ; and he smote her with the " White Glave 
of Light," and killed her. 

The very same thing happened to the second. The youngest 
milked the three Red-brown Hornless Cows ; but peeped, and 
sank to her knee in blood, and saw her two dead sisters. The 
great grey cat asked for milk, and got it and drank it, and be- 
came a splendid woman, and told her that she was a king^s 
daughter under spells ; and she told her to take some of the milk 
and to clean her foot with it, and that it would not leave a speck 
of the blood on her ; and so she did. 

'* Now," said the king's daughter, " when he comes in and 
sees that thy foot is clean, he will marry thee ; but thou wilt not 
be long alive if thou art with him. When he goes to the hunting 
hill, thou shalt take with thee am ballan ioc, vessel of balsam 
{baUan is a teat), and rub it against the mouth of thy big sister ; 
and thou shalt put her into a sack, and gold and silver with her, 
and thou shalt stuff the sack with hay ; and when he comes home 
tell him that there is a whisp for the cow, and to leave it with 
thy mother ; and the next day do the same with thy second 
sister ; and on the third day, I will put thyself and the white 
glave of light into the sack. When he knows that thou art not 
with him, he will go after thee ; and when he is coming in at the 
door, " sciAP " the head off him with the sword, and hold the 


sword on the bmiob chailleach (spinal marrow) till it cools, be- 
fore the bead goes on again." 

Tbe girl did as sbe was told ; and be took tbe three sisters 
afive, and bis gold and bis sword, in tbe sacks with tbe bay on 
bis back to tbe mother, and said each time, " So A chailleach 
ensf AauD sop don bho,*' *' Here carlin, there thou bast a whisp 
for tbe cow." 

. On tbe third day be went home, and when be lay down and 
fonnd that she was not there, be went to the poor woman's house, 
and tbe youngest daughter chopped bis bead off as be went in at 
the door ; and then she went back to tbe castle and stayed in it 
with tbe king's daughter. 

3d. This is manifestly tbe same story as " Tbe history of Mr. 
Greenwood," in Mr. Peter Bucban's unpublished MS. The 
scene of that story is laid in the Western Isles ; it is brought 
down to a much later period than tbe Gaelic story ; and tbe lan- 
guage is not that of peasants. 

It is tbe same as tbe Old Dame and her Hen, Norse Tales, 
No. in., published 1859, and it resembles bits of other tales in 
tbe same collection. It is tbe same as Fitcher's Vogel, Grimm, 
No. 46; and Old Rink Rank, 196. It is in French as Barbe Bleu ; 
in English as Bluebeard ; and according to tbe notes in Grimm's 
third volume, it is very old and very widely spread. Of all these 
the Norse and Gaelic resemble each other most. 

Tbe same idea pervades a number of other Gaelic stories, 
namely, that of a people living underground, who assumed tbe 
shape of various creatures, and lived by bunting ; possessed gold 
and silver, and swords ; carried off women and children ; ate 
some, murdered others, and kept a larder of dead gentlewomen, 
whom it appears that they carried off, married, and murdered. 


From John MacDonald, travelling tinker. 

nPHEEE was an old soldier once, and he left the 
-*- army. He went to the top of a hill that was at 
the upper end of the town land, and he said — 

" Well, may it be that the mischief may come and 
take me with him on his back, the next time that I 
come again in sight of this town." 

Then he was walking till he came to the house of 
a gentleman that was thera John asked the gentle- 
man if he would get leave to stay in his house that 
night " Well, then," said the gentleman, " since 
thou art an old soldier, and hast the look of a man of 
courage, without dread or fear in thy face, there is a 
castle at the side of yonder wood, and thou mayest 
stay in it till day. Thou shalt have a pipe and baccy, 
a cogie full of whisky, and a bible to read." 

When John got his supper, he took himself to the 
castle ; he set on a great fire, and when a while of the 
night had come, there came two tawny women in, and 
a dead man's kist between them. They threw it at 
the fireside, and they sprang out John arose, and 
with the heel of his foot he drove out its end, and he 
dragged out an old hoary bodach, and he set him sit- 
ting in the great chair ; he gave him a pipe and baccy, 
and a cogie of whisky, but the bodach let them fall on 


the floor. " Poor man," said John, " the cold is on 
thee." John laid himself stretched in the bed, and 
he left the bodach to toast himself at the fireside ; but 
about the crowing of the cock he went away. 

The gentleman came well early in the morning. 

" What rest didst thou find John?" 

" Good rest," said John " thy father was not the 
man that would frighten me." 

" Right, good John, thou shalt have two hundred 
* pund,^ and lie to-night in the castle." 

" I am the man that will do that," said John ; and 
that night it was the very like. Theile came three 
tawny women, and a dead man's kist with them 
amongst them. They threw it up to the side of the 
fireplace, and they took their soles out (of that). 

John arose, and with the heel of his foot he broke 
the head of the kist, and he dragged out of it the old 
hoary man ; and as he did the night before he set him 
sitting in the big chair, and gave him pipe and baccy, 
and he let them fall. *' Oh ! poor man," said John, 
" cold is on thee." Then he gave him a cogie of drink, 
and he let that fall also. '' Oh ! poor man, thou art 

The bodach went as he did the night before; 
"but," said John to himself^ " if I stay here this night, 
and that thou shouldst come, thou shalt pay my pipe 
and baccy, and my cogie of drink." 

The gentleman came early enough in the morning, 
and he asked, " What rest didst thou find last night, 
John?" "Good rest," said John, "it was not the 
hoary bodach, thy father, that would put fear on me." 

"Och!" said the gentleman, " if thou stayest to- 
night thou shalt have three hundred ^ puvd* " 

" It*s a bargain," said John. 

When it was a while of the night there came four 


tawny women^ and a dead man's kist with them 
amongst them; and they let that down at the side of 

John arose, and he drew his foot and he drove the 
head out of the kist, and he dragged out the old hoary 
man and he set him in the big chair. He reached 
him the pipe and the baccy, the cup and the drink, 
but the old man let them fall, and they were broken. 

" Och," said John, before thou goest this night 
thou shalt pay me all thou hast broken ;'* but word 
there came not from the head of the bodach. Then 
John took the belt of his " abersgaic,"* and he tied 
the bodach to Ids side, and he took him with him to 
bed. When the heath-cock crowed, the bodach asked 
him to let him go. 

"Pay what thou hast broken first," said John. 
" I will tell thee, then," said the old man, " there is a 
cellar of drink under, below me, in which there is 
plenty of drink, tobacco, and pipes ; there is another 
little chamber beside the cellar, in which there is a 
caldron full of gold ; and under the threshold of the 
big door there is a crocky full of silver. Thou sawest 
the women that came with me to-night ?" 

" I saw," said John. 

" Well, there thou hast four women from whom I 
took the cows, and they in extremity ; tbey are going 
with me every night thus, punishing me ; but go thou 
and tell my son how I am being wearied out. Let 
him go and pay the cows, and let him not be heavy 
on the poor. Thou thyself and he may divide the 
gold and silver between you, and marry thyself my old 
girl ; but mind, give plenty of gold of what is left to 
the poor, on whom I was too hard, and I will find rest 
in the world of worlds." 

* Haversack, 


The gentleman came, and John told him as I have 
told thee, but John would not marry the old girl of 
the hoary bodach. 

At the end of a day or two John would not stay 
longer ; he filled his pockets full of the gold, and he 
asked the gentleman to give plenty of gold to the poor. 
He reached the house (went home), but he was weary- 
ing at home, and he had rather be back with the regi- 
ment. He took himself off on a day of days, and he 
reached the hill above the town from which he went 
away ; but who should come to him but the Mischief 

" Hoth! both I John, thou hast come back?" 

" Hoth ! on thyself," quoth John, " I came ; who 
art thou Ì" 

" I am the Mischief; the man to whom thou gavest 
thyself when thou was here last" 

"Ai! ai!" said John, "it's long since I heard 
tell of thee, but I never saw thee before. There is 
glamour on my eyes, I will not believe that it is thou 
at all ; but make a snake of thyself and I will believe 

The Mischief did this. 

" Make now a lion of roaring." 

The Mischief did this. 

« Spit fire now seven nules behind thee, and seven 
miles before thee." 

The Mischief did this. 

" Well," said John, " since I am to be a servant 
with thee, come into my * abersgaic,' and I will carry 
thee ; but thou must not come out till I ask thee, or 
else the bargain's broke." 

The Mischief promised, and he did this. 

" Now," said John, " I am going to see a brother 
of mine that is in the regiment, but keep thou quiet" 

So now, John went into the town ; and one yon- 


der, and one here, would cry, " There is* John the 
* desairtair/ " 

There was gripping of John, and a court held on 
him ; and so it was that he was to be hanged abont 
mid-day on the morrow, and John asked no favour but 
to be floored with a bullet 

The ^ Coimeal" said, " Since he was an old 
soldier, and in the army so long, that he should have 
his asking." 

On the morrow when John was to he shot, and the 
soldiers foursome round all about him, 

" What is that they are saying 1" said the Mischief. 
" Let me amongst them and I wont be long scattering 

" Cuist ! cuist ! " said John. 

"What's that speaking to thee?" said the Coir- 

" Oh ! it's but a white mouse," said John. 

" Black or white," said the Coimeal, ''don't thou 
let her out of the ' abersgaic' and thou shalt have a 
letter of loosing, and let's see thee no more." 

John went away, and in the mouth of night he 
went into a bam where there were twelve men 

"Oh! lads," said John, "here's for you my old 
abersgaic, and take a while threshing it, it is so hard 
that it is taking the skin off my back." 

They took as much as two hours of the watch at the 
abersgaic with the twelve flaQs ; and at last every blow 
they gave it, it would leap to the top of the bam, and it 
was casting one of the threshers now and again on his 
back. When they saw that, they asked him to be out 
of that, himself and his abersgaic ; they would not be- 
lieve but that the Mischief was in it. 

Then he went on his journey, and he went into a 


smitliy where there were twelve smiths striking their 
great hammers. 

" Here^s for you, lads, an old ahersgaic, and I will 
give you half-a-crown, and take a while at it with the 
twelve great hammers ; it is so hard that it is taking 
the skin off my back." 

But that was fun for the smiths; it was good 
sport for them the ahersgaic of the soldier ; but every 
" sgaile " it got, it was bounding to the top of the 
smithy. " Go out of this, thyself and it," said they ; 
"we will not beheve but that the 'Bramman'* is in it" 

So then John went on and the Mischief on his 
back, and he reached a great furnace that was there. 

" Where art thou going now, John?" said the Mis- 

" Patience a little, and thou 'It see that," said John. 

" Let me out," said the Mischief" and I will never 
put trouble on thee in this world." 

" Nor in the next ?" said John. 

" That's it," said the Mischief 

" Stop then," said John, "till thou get a smoke ;" 
and so saying, John cast the ahersgaic and the Donas 
into the middle of the furnace, and himself and the 
furnace went as a green flame of fire to the skies. 


Bha seann saighdear ann, aon aair, &gus tbreig e 'n t-arm. Chaidh 
e gn mallach cnoc *bba 'm braigh 'bbaile, agus thabbairt e, ** 6a ma 
th' ann a thig an Donas, agus mise a thoirt leis air a dhmiin, au ath 
uair a thig mise an sealladh a bhaile so a rithist" Bha e so a cois- 
eachd, gns an d* thainig e gn tigh duin' nasail a bha *n sin. Dh* 

* This word I have never met before. 


fheocaich Iain do *n duin' uasal, ** Am feadadh e fantainn na tbigb 
air an oidhche sin ? " ** Mata," ars' an duin' nasal, ** bho *n is seann 
saighdear thn, agas coslas daine calma gun f hiamh na eagal na d' 
ghnttis, tha caisteal ri taobh na coille sin thall, agus feuda tu fant- 
ainn ann gu latba; glieibb thn piob 's tombaca, coach Ikn nisge agns 
Biobnll gu lenbbadh.** Dnr a f hnair Iain a shuipeir, thug e 'n 
Caisteal air. Chuir e teine mòr air, agns dar a thainig tacan do 'n 
oidhche thainig dithis mhnathan ruadh a steach, 's ciste duine mhairbh 
eatorral Thilg iad i ri taobh na teallaich, 's leum iad a mach. 
Dh* eirich Iain, 's le sail a cboise, chuir e 'n ceann aiste. Tharminn 
e mach seann bbodach liath, agus chuir e 'na shuidhe anns a' chathair 
mhbir e : thug e piob 's tombaoa dha, agus coach oisge, ach leig am 
bodach leo tniteam air an urlar. '* A dhoine bhochd/' ars' Iain, " tha 
'm fuachd ort." Chaidh Iain 'na shineadh 'san leabaidh, 's dh' fhàg 
e'm bodach ga gharadh ri tcabh a' ghealbham; ach mo ghairm 
choileach dh' fbalbh e. Thainig an duin* uasal go math moch 
'sa mhadoinn. <* De 'n tàmh a fhnair tho, Iain ?" '< Tàmh maith, 
ars' Iain, "cha be t' athair am fear a chuireadh eagal ormsa.'* 
" Ro mhaith, Iain; gheibh tho da cheud pund, agus luidh a nochd 'sa 
chaisteal." ** 'S mise an doin' a ni sin," thuirt Iain : agos air an 
oidhche so, b'e 'leithid cheodna. Thainig triur mhnathan ruadh, 's 
ciste duine mhairbh acaeadar iad. Thilg iad suas i ri taobh na teall- 
aich, 's thug iad na biiinn asda. Dh' einch Iain 's le sail a choise, bhrist 
e ceann na ciste, 's shlaod e aif^te an seann duine liath, agus mar a 
rinn e an oidhche roimhe, chuir e sa' chathair mhòir e. Thug e dha 
piob 's tombaca, 's leig e leo tuiteam. " A dhuine bhochd," ars' Iain, 
^ tha fnachd ort." Thug e 'n so cnach Ian dibhe dha 's leig e le so 
tuiteam cuideachd. ** O t a dhuine bhochd, tha fuachd ort" Dh' 
fhalbh am bodach, mar a rinn e 'n oidhche roimhe. ** Ach," ars* 
Iain ris fhein, **m& dh' fhanas mis' an so a nochd, agus gun d' thig 
thusa, paidhidh tusa mo phiob, 's mo thombaca, 's mo.chuach dhibhe." 
Thainig an duin' uasal gle mhoch 'sa mhadninn, 's dh' fhoighneachd e^ 
" De 'n tàmh a fhuair tho 'n raoir, Iain V " « Tàmh math," ars' Iain, 
« cba be 'm bodach liath t' athair a chuireadh eagal ormsa." "Ach," 
ars' an duin' uasal, ** ma dh' fhanas to 'nochd, gheibh thu fri cheud 
pund." ** 'S bargain e," ars' Iain. 'Nuair a bha e tacain do 'n 
oidhche, thainig ceathrar do mhnathan ruadha, 's ciste duiiie mhairbh 
aoa eadar iad, 's leig iad sud sios ri taobh Iain. Dh' eirich Iain, 's 
tharminn e 'chas, 's chuir e 'n ceann as a chiste, 's tharruinn e mach 
an seann duine liath, 's chuir e sa chathair mhoir e. Shin e dha piob 
's tombaca, an com 's an deoch, ach leig an seann duine leo tuiteam, 
's bhristeadh iad, Ach thubhairt Iain, ** Ma'm fiilbh thusa 'nochd 


paidhidh tu dhomhsa na bhrist thu/' ach fàcal cha d' thainig a ceann 
a' bhodaich. Ghabh Tain an so crios abar^aic, agos cheangail e 'm 
bodach ri chliathaicli, 's thag e leis a luidhe e. Dar a ghoir an coil- 
each fraoich dh* iarr am bodach air a leigeil as. '* Paidh na bhrist 
thii 'n toiseach,*^ ars' Iain. " Innse mise dhuit mata.'* ars' an seann 
daine, tha seilear dibhe shios fotham, anna am bheil pailteas dibhe, 
tombaca 's pioban : tha seomar beag eile laimh ns an t-seilear, anna 
am bheil coire Ian òir, agas fo starsnaich an doruis mhoir^ tha crog- 
an Ian airgiod. Chunnaic thu na mnathan ud a thainig leanua 
'nochd." '* Chonnaic," ars' Iain. ** WeH, sin agad ceathrar rnhnathaii 
bho 'n d' thag mise na mairt^ agns lad 'na n èigin ; tha iad a falbh 
leamsa na h-uil* oidhche mar so ga m' phianadh ; ach falbh thusa, 
agus innis do m* mhac, mar tha mis' air mo shàrachadh ; falbhadh 
esan agns paidheadh e na mairt» agus na biodh e trom air a bhochd. 
Feuda tu fhein agas esan an t-br 's an t-airgiod a roinn eadaruibh, agns 
pbs fhein mo sheann nighean, ach cnimhnich thoir pailteas òir do na 
th& Uathair do na bochdan, air an robh mise ro chruaidb, agns gheibh 
mise fois gn saoghal nan saoghal." Thainig an doin' nasal, agus dh' 
innis Iain dba mar a dh' innis mise dliuitse, ach cha pbosadh Iain 
seann nighean a' bhodaich Hath. An ceann latha no dba, cha *u 
fhanadh Iain ni b' fhaide^ Lion e phòcaidean làn do 'n or, 's dh' 
iarr e air an duin' nasal pailteas bir a thoirt do na bochdan. Rainig 
e 'n tigh, ach bha e 'gabbail fadail aig an tigh, agus b' fhearr leis bbi 
air ais 'san Reisimeid. Thog e air latha do na laithean^'s rainig e 'n 
cnoc a bha os ceann a bhaile, bho 'n d' fhalbh e. Ach co thainig g'a 
ionnsaidh ach an donas I ** Hoth I both ! Iain, phill thu." ** Hoth ! 
ort fhein," ars' Iain, ** phill : co thusa." " 'S mis' an Donas, am fear 
do 'n d' thug thusa thu fhein, dar a bha thu 'n so ma dbeireadh." 
" Ai I ail" ars' Iain, " 's fada bho na chuala mi iomradh ort, ach cha 
n' fhaca mi riamb roimhe thu : 's ann a tha spleUmas air mo shuil- 
ean ; cha chreid mi gar tuth' ann idir ; ach dean nathair dhiot fhein, 
agus creididh mi thu." Rinn an Donas so. ^ Dean a nis leomhan 
behchdach." Kinn an Donas so I ** Cuir a nis smugaidean teine 
seachd mile as do dheigh agus seachd mile romhad." Rinn an Donas 
sol I ** Well," ars' Iain bho na tha mi gu bhi na m' gbill' agad, thig 
a steach na m' abarsgaic, agus giulanidh mis' thu ; ach cha 'n fheud 
thu tighinn a mach gus an iarr mise, air neo tha 'm bargain briste." 
Gheall an Donas, 's rinn e, so. ** ^is," ars' Iain, *' tha mise dol a dh' 
fhaicinn brathair dhomh a tha 'san Reisimeid, ach fan thusa sàmh- 
aeh." Chaidh Iain an so a stigh do 'n bhaile, agus ghlaodh fear 
thall 's fear a bhos, ** So Iain an desairtair." Chaidh beireachd air 
Iain 's mod a chuir air, agus 'se bh' ann gu 'n robh e gu bhi air a 


chrochadh mn mheadhon-latha *màireach : agus cha do dh' iarr Iain 
do dV fhabhor, ach e bhi air a thilgeil le peileir. Thubhairt an 
Còimeal, " bho *n is e seann saighdear a bh' ann, agas e anns an 
arm cho fada, gu 'faigheadh e 'iarrtas." An la'ir na mhkireach, dar a 
bha Iain gu bbi air a thilgeil *8 na saighdearan ceithir chtiairt 
thimchioll air, '* De sad a tha iad ag radh,'* ars' an donas, " leig mise 
^nam measg 's cha 'n fhada a bhios mi 'gan sgapadh." ^* Cuist I cuist !'^ 
ars* Iain. "D^ sin a tha bmidhinn riut?** ars' an Còimeal. **0I 
cha n 'eil ach Inch bbàn," ars' Iain. ^< Ban na dabh i," ars' an 
Còimeal, *' na leig thus' as an abarsgaic i, 's gheibh thu litir fhnas- 
glaidh; 's na faiceam tuillidh tha." Dh' fhalbh Iain, agas am beol na 
h-oidhche chaidh e stigh do shabhall far an robh da fhear dheag a 
bualadh. ** O ! 'illean,'* ars' Iain, ** so dhaibh mo sheann abarsgaic, 
's thugaibh greis bhualaidh oirre; bha i cho craaidh, 's gabheil i toirt 
a chraicinn dheth mo dhroim." Thag iad cho maith ri da uair an 
uaireadair air an abarsgaic, leis an da shuisd dhehg, gas ma dheir- 
eadh na h-oile buille a bheireadh iad dhi, leamadh i ga mullach an 
t-sabhaill, *s bha i tilgeil fear air a dhroim an dràsta 's a rithist 
dheth na baaladairan. 'Naair a channaic iad so dh' iarr iad air a bhi 
muigh a sad, e fhein 's abarsgaic ; cha chreideadh iad fhein nach robh 
an Donas innte. Dh' fhalbh e 'n sin air a thuras, 's chaidh e steach 
do cheardaich, far an robh da ghobha dhèug a bualadh nan 6rd mora, 
" So dhaibh, 'illean, seann abarsgaic, 's bheir mi dhaibh lethchrtin, 'g 
thagaibh greis oirre leis an da òrd mhòr dheag ; tha i cho craaidh, 's 
ga 'bheil i toirt a chraicinn dheth mo dhraim." Ach ge bha aoibh- 
inn, b' e na gobhainnan ; ba mhaith an spors dhoibh abarsgaic an t- 
taighdeair, ach na h-aile sgailc a bha i faotainn, bha i leiun ga mull- 
ach na ceardaich. *' Gabh mach a' so tha fhein 's ise," ars' iadsan, 
** bho 'n cha chreid sinn fhein nach eil am Bramman innte." Dh' 
fhalbh Iain air aghaidh mar so, 's an Donas air a dhraim I ! 's rainig 
e faimeis mhòr a bha 'sin. " Càit' a nis am bheil tha dol, Iain," ars' 
an Donas. ** Foighidinn beag, 's chi thu sin," ars' Iain. ^ Leig as 
mi," ars' an Donas, '* 's cha chair mi dragh ort 's an t-saoghal so." 
••No 'san ath fhear?" ars' Iain— «• Seadh," ars' an Donas. "Stad 
mata," ars' Iain, •• gas am faigh thu Smoc," 's le so a radh, thilg Iain 
an abarsgaic 's an Donas an teis meadhoin na fuimeis, 's chaidh e 
fhein 's an fhuimeis 'na lasair uaine anns na spèuran ! 

This was written by Hector Urquhart, from the dictation of 
John MacDonald, and sent January 1860. 

It is clearly the same story as that of the man who travelled 


to learn what sliiyering meant (Grimm), though it has only a 
very few of the incidents which are in the German version. 

Another version of the same story was told me in English hy 
a man whom I met in London, and have never heen able to find 
again. (See Introduction.) 

It is a story very widely spread in Europe ; and I believe this 
to be a genuine tradition, though I have but one Gaelic version 
of it. 

John MacDonald, travelling tinker, has but a small stock 
of lore ; and the tinker whom I met in London could not read 
the card which I gave him, with a promise of payment if he 
woald come and repeat his stock of stories. His female com- 
panion, indeed, could both read the card and speak French. The 
whole lot seemed to suspect some evil design on my part ; and I 
have never seen the one who told the story, or the woman since, 
though I met their comrade afterwards. 

For the pedigree of Grimm's version, see vol. iii. p. 15, edition 


From John Dewar, labourer, Glendaraail, Cowal. 

THERE was a king and a queen, and they had a 
daughter, and the queen found death, and the 
king married another. And the last queen was bad to 
the daughter of the first queen, and she used to beat 
her and put her out of the door. She sent her to herd 
the sheep, and was not giving her what should suffice 
her. And there was a sharp (horned) grey sheep in 
the flock that was coming with meat to her. 

The queen was taking wonder that she was keep- 
ing alive and that she was not getting meat enough 
from herself and she told it to the henwife. The 
henwife thought that she would send her own daughter 
to watch how she was getting meat, and M Mhaol 
Charach,* the henwife's daughter, went to herd the 
sheep with the queen's daughter. The sheep would 
not come to her so long as Ni Mhaol Charach was 
there, and Ni Mhaol Charach was staying all the day 
with her. The queen's daughter was longing for her 
meat, and she said — " Set thy head on my knee and I 
will dress thy hair."t And Ni Mhaol Charach set her 
head on the knee of the queen's daughter, and she 

The sheep came with meat to the queen's daugh- 

* Bald scabby thing. f Fasgabhaidh. 


ter, but the eye that was in the back of the head of 
the bald black-skinned girl, the henwife's daughter, 
was open, and she saw all that went on, and when she 
awoke she went home and told it to her mother, and 
the henwife told it to the queen, and when the queen 
understood how the girl was getting meat, nothing at 
all would serve her but that the sheep should be killed. 

The sheep came to the queen's daughter and said 
to her — 

^' They are going to kill me, but steal thou my skin 
and gather my bones and roll them in my skin, and I 
will come alive again, and I will come to thee again.'' 

The sheep was killed, and the queen's daughter 
stole her skin, and she gathered her bones and her 
hoo£3 and she rolled them in the skin ; but she forgot 
the little hoofs. The sheep came alive again, but she 
was lame. She came to the king's daughter with a 
halting step, and she said, " Thou didst as I desired 
thee, but thou hast forgotten the little hoofs." 

And she was keeping her in meat after that 

There was a young prince who was hunting and 
coming often past her, and he saw how pretty she was, 
and he asked, " Who 's she ]" And they told him, 
and he took love for her, and he was often coming the 
way; but the bald black-skinned girl, the henwife's 
daughter, took notice of him, and she told it to her 
mother, and the henwife told it to the queen. 

The queen was wishful to get knowledge what man 
it was, and the henwife sought till she found out whom 
he (was), and she told the queen. When the queen 
heard who it was she was wishful to send her own 
daughter in his way, and she brought in the first queen's 
daughter, and she set her own daughter to herd in her 
place, and she was making the daughter of the first 
queen do the cooking and every service about the house. 


The first queen's daughter was out a turn, and the 
prince met her, and he gave her a pair of golden shoes. 
And he was wishful to see her at the sermon, but her 
muime would not let her go there. 

But when the rest would go she would make ready, 
and she would go after them, and she would sit where 
be might see her, but she would rise and go before the 
people would scatter, and she would be at the house 
and everything in order before her muime would come. 
But the third time she was there the prince was wish- 
ful to go with her, and he sat near to the door, and 
when she went he was keeping an eye on her, and he 
rose and went after her. She was running home, and 
she lost one of her shoes in the mud ; and he got the 
shoe, and because he could not see her he said that the 
one who had the foot that would fit the shoe was the 
wife that would be his. 

The queen was wishful that the shoe should fit her 
own daughter, and she put the daughter of the first 
queen in hiding, so that she should not be seen till she 
should try if the shoe should fit her own daughter. 

When the prince came to try the shoe on her, her 
foot was too big, but she was very anxious that the shoe 
should fit her, and she spoke to the henwife about it 
The henwife cut the points of her toes off that the shoe 
might fit her, and the shoe went on her when the 
points of the toes were cut 

When the wedding-day came the daughter of the 
first queen was set in hiding in a nook that was behind 
the fire. 

When the people were all gathered together, a bird 
came to the window, and he cried — 

" The blood 's in the shoe, and the pretty foot 's in 
the nook at the back of the fire."^ 
* The words in Gaelic have a loimd that might be as imita- 


One of them said, " What is that creature saying ?" 
And the queen said — '* It's no matter what that crea- 
ture is saying ; it is but a nasty, beaky, lying crea- 
ture.'^ The bird came again to tiie window ; and the 
third time he came, the prince said — " "We will go and 
see what he is saying.*' 

And he rose and he went out, and the bird cried — 

" The blood 's in the shoe, and the pretty foot 's in 
the nook that is at the back of the fire." 

He returned in, and he ordered the nook at the 
back of the fire to be searched. And they searched it, 
and they found the first queen's daughter there, and 
the golden shoe on the one foot. They cleaned the 
blood out of the other shoe, and they tried it on her, 
and the shoe fitted her, and its like was on the other 
foot The prince left the daughter of the last queen, 
and he married the daughter of the first queen, and he 
took her from them with him, and she was rich and 
lucky after that 


Bba Bigh agus Banrigh ann, agas bha nighean aca. A gas thuair a 
Bhanngh bàs, agas phòs an Righ h-aon eile, agus bha Bhanrfgh 
ma dbeireadh dona ri nigbean na cead Bhanngh, agus bhiodh i 
gabhail orra, agus ga cuir amach air an dorus. Chuir i a bbuacbaill- 
each nan caorach i, agus cha robh i tabhart dh' i na dh' fhoghnadh 
dh' i. Agus bha caora bbiorach 'ghlas 'san trend a bha tighinn le biadh 
a* h-ionsuidh. Bha a Bhanrigh a gabhail iongantas gun robh i 
fanach beo, agus nach robh i faotuinn biadh ni's leoir uaipefein; agus 
dh' innis i do chailleach nan cearc e. Smuainich cailleach nan cearc 
gun cuireadh i a nighean fein a dh' fhaireachdainn ciamar a bha i faot- 
inn biadh. Agus chaidh ni mhaol charach nighean chailleach nan cearc 

tion of the note of a singing bird ; the vowel sounds are ui and 
oij and there are many soft consonants. 



a bhnachidlleacbd nan caoivch le nighean na Banrlgh. Cha tigeadh a 
chaora d*a h-ionsaidh fhad *8 bha an ni* mhaol charach an sin, 's bha 
ni' mhaol charach a' £iinach fiid an la' leatha. Bha nighean na Banrigh 
'gabhail fadail arson a biadh, agoa thubhairt i ri ni* mbaol charach. 
** Cnir do cheann air mo ghlhn agns fugabhaidh mi thn.*' Agna 
choir ni' mhaol charach a ceann air glon nighinn na Banrigh agua 
choidil i Thainig a chaora le biadh a dh' ionsnidh nighinn na 

Ach bha an t-shil a bh* ann an chl cinn nighean mhaol charach 
nighean chailleach nan cearc fosgailte, 'a chmmaic i na bha dol air 
aghaidh. Agua an uair a dbaiag i dh' fhalbh i dhachaidh, agns dh' 
innis i e d'a mathair, agns chaidh cailleach nan cearc agns dh' 
innis i do'n Bhanngh e. 'Nnair a thnig a Bhanrigh da mar bha an 
nighean afaotninn biadh cha'n fhoghnadh ni air bi dhi ach gnn rachadh 
a chaora a mbarbhadh. Thainig a chaora a dh* ionnsnidh nighinn na 
Banrigh agns thubhairt i ri, ** Tha iad a dpi gnm' mharbhadh; ach gold 
thnsa mo chroicionn agns tmis mo dmamhan agns rol 'n am' chroic- 
ionn iad, agns thig mi beo, agns thig mi a'd' ionsnidh a lis." Chaidh 
a chaora a mharbhadh, agns ghoid nighean an Bigh a croicionn agna 
thms i a cnàmhan agns a crodhain, agns rol i iad 'sa chroicionn ; 
ach dhiochnimhnich i na crodhain bheaga. Thainig a chaora beo 
aris, ach bha i crhpach. Thainig i dh' ionsnidh nighean an Bigh 
's oenm crhpach aice 's ihnbhairt i rithe. <*Rinn ihn mar a dh' 
iarr mi ort, ach dhichnimhnich ihn na crodhain bheaga." *S bha 
i cnmail biadh rithe an deigh sin. Bha Prionnsa òg ann a bha 
sealgadh, 's a' tighinn trie seachad orra, agns chnnnaic e cho boidheach 
's bha i, 's fharaid e, '* Co i ? " agns dh' innis i dha. Agns ghabh e 
gaol d' L Agns bha e 'tighinn bidheanta an rathad. Ach thng 
nighean mhaol charach nighean chaflleach nan cearc an aire dha agns 
dh' innis i d'a mathair e. Agns chaidh cailleach nan cearc agns dh' 
innis i e do'n Bhanrigh. Bha 'Bhanrigh toileach fios fhaotninn co am 
fear a bh'ann. Agns dh'iarr cailleach nan cearc gns an d'fhnair imach 
CO e, agns dh' innis i do'n Bhanrigh. 'N nair a chnala a Bhanrigh co 
bh' ann bha i toileach a nighean fein a chnir 'na rathad, agns thng i 
stigh nighean na cend Bhanrigh, agns chnir i a nighean fein 
a bhnachailleachd na h' Idte, agns bha i toirt air nighean na cend 
Bhanrigh a chbcaireachd agns na h-nile seirbhis, a dheanamh 
tiomchioll an tighe. Bha nighean na cend Bhanrigh amach sgriob, 
agns choinnich am Prionnsa orra, agns thng e dh' i paidhir do 
bhrbgan òir. Agns bha e toileach a fidcinn aig an t-searmoin, ach cha 
leigeadh a mnime leatha dol ann. Ach 'n nair a dh' fhalbhadh each 
dheanadh ise deas, agns dh' fhalbhadh i 'n an deigh^ agns ahoidhibh 


i for am foicibh e i; ach dh' ^readh i agas dh' fhalbhadh i mim 
agoileadh an slnagli, agus bhitheadh i aig an tigb, agus na h' uile 
nith an ordngh mun tigeadh a muime. Ach air an treas uair a 
bha i ann bha am Prionnsa toileach folbh leatha, agus shuidh e 
dluth do^n dome, agus 'n nair a dh' fhalbh ise, bha esan a cuinail sail 
orra, agns dh' eirich e, agus dh' fbalbh e as a deigh. Bha ise 'niidh 
dhachaidh, agus chaill i h-aon d*a brògan 's a phoU, agus tbuair esan a 
bhròg. Agus a chionn nach b' urrainn dha a foicinn thubbart e gum 
b'e an te aig an robh cas a f hreagradh a bhrog dhi a bhean a bhitheadh 
aigesan. Bha a Bhanrigh toileach gu freagradh a bhrog a'n nighinn 
aice fein, agus chuir 1 nighean na ceud Bhanrigh am folach air alt 's 
nach biodh i r'a fhaicinn gus am faiceadh i am freagradh a bhrog a* 
nighinn fein. 'N uair a thainig am Pronnsa a dh' fheuchainn na broig 
orrabha a cas tuille'smòr; ach bha i ro thoileach gu 'freagradh a*bhròg 
i, agus bhrai4hinn i ri cailleach nan cearc uime. Ghearr cailleach nan 
cearc bàrr nan laor d' i 's gun freagradh a bhrog i, agus chaidh a bhrog 
orra 'n uair bha barr nan laor gearrtadhi. 'N uair a thainig la na 
bainnse chaidh nighean na ceud Bhanrigh cbuir am folach an an cMl 
aig CÌ1I an teine. 'N uair a bha an sluagh uile cruinn aig a bhanais, 
thainig eun chum na h' uinneig agus ghlaodh e. " Tha an fbuil 's a 
bhròig agus tha chos bhoidheach 'sa chUil aig clil an teine/' Tbubhairt 
h-aon diubh, '* Ciod e tha am beathach ud ag radh." Agus thubhairt 
a Bhanrigh, '*'S comadhciod tha am beathach ud ag radh cha'n*eil ann 
ach beathach mosach, gobach, breugach." Thainig an t-eun aris 
chum na h' uinneig; agus an treas uair a thainig e thubbart am 
Prionnsa. " Theid sinn agus chi sinn ciod tha e ag radh." Agus dh' 
eirich e agus chaidh e mach agus ghlaodh an t-eun, ** Tha'n fbuil 'sa 
bhròig 's tha chos bhoidheach sa' chhil aig ctil an teine." Phill e 
'stigh agus dh' orduich e a chuil bh' aig cul an teine iarruidh. Agns 
dh' iarr iad i, agus thuair iad nighean na ceud Bhanrigh an sin, agus 
bròg òir air a dama cois. Ghlan iad an fhuil as a bhrbig eile, agus 
dh' fheuch iad orra i, agus fhreagair a bhrog i, agus bha a leith-bhreac 
air a chois eile. Dh' fhàg am Prionnsa nighean na Banrigh mu 
dheireadh, agus phbs e nighean na ceud Bhanrigh, agus thug e leis 
uapa i, agus bha i sona, saoibhir, na dheigh sin. 

*' He has an eye in the back of his head," is a common 
saying for some one pretematurallj sharp. 

This story has some resemblance to Argus, who had a handred 
eyes, and slept with two at a time; and was set by Juno (a qaeen) 
to watch lo, a human being changed into a heifer. 


The sheep that came alive and was lame, is like Norse 
mythology {Edda — Dasent's translation, p. 51). " Thorr took his 
he-goats and killed them both, and after that they were flain 
and home to the kettle. . . . Then laid Thorr the goatskins 
away from the fire, and told the hnshand and his household they 
should cast the bones into the goatskins. . . . Thorr , . 
hallowed the goatskins, then stood up the goats, and one of them 
was halt in one of its hind feet.'' 

One of the people had broken the thigh for the marrow. 

I know nothing in any story quite like the first part, but it 
is like Cinderella (Grimm, English, p. 81), where the birds and the 
shoe appear ; but with a wholly different set of incidents. It is 
like One Eye, Two Eyes, and Three Eyes (p. 387) ; but in that 
story the church and the golden shoe do not appear. 

See Grimm, vol. iii. p. 34, for numerous references to versions 
of Cinderella in books of all ages. 

It has some resemblance to Bellin the Kam of the Countess 

The second part is closer to the Norse versions of Cinderella 
than to the English story, and may be compared with part of 
Katie Woodencloak, where the birds and the shoe appear ; and 
where there is a going to church. 

I have many Gaelic versions of the incidents, all of which 
resemble each other ; the golden shoe is sometimes transferred 
to a man, which I take to be some confusion in the memory of 
the person who tells the story. 



From John MacPhie, South Uist, and Donald MacCraw, 

North Uist. 

THEEE was a poor fisher's widow in Eirinn, and 
she had one son ; and one day he left his mother 
with a lump of a horse, and a man met him with a 
gun, a dog, and a falcon (gunna en agos seobhag) ; and 
he said, " Wilt thou sell me the horse, son of the fisher 
in Eirinn 1" and he said, "What wilt thou give me? 
Wilt thou give me thy gun and thy dog, and thy 
falcon ?" And he said, " I will give them ;" and the 
bargain was struck ; and Iain, the fisher's son, went 
home. When his mother saw him she was enraged, 
and she beat him ; and in the night he took the gun 
and went away to be a hunter.* He went and he 
went till he reached the house of a farmer, who was 
sitting there with his old wife. The farmer said, " It 
was fortune sent thee here with thy gun ; there is a 
deer that comes every night to eat my com, and she 
will not leave a straw." And they engaged Iain the 
fisherman's son to stay with them^ and shoot the deer; 
and so he stayed ; and on the morrow's day he went 
out^ and when he saw the deer he put the gun to his eye 
to shoot her, and the lock was up ; but when he would 

* MacCraw started him with a big bonnoch and a little one, 
and his mother's blessing. 


have fired, he saw the finest woman he ever saw be- 
fore him, and he held his hand, and let down the gun, 
and let down the lock, and there was the deer eating 
the corn again. 

Three times he did this, and then he ran after the 
deer to try to catch her. 

(In the other version, he went out on three suc- 
cessive days. On the first, when he aimed he saw over the 
sight a woman's face and breast^ while the rest re- 
mained a deer. " Don't fire at me, widow's son," said 
the deer ; and he did not, and went home and did not 
teU what had happened. The next day when he 
aimed, the woman was free to the waist, but the rest 
was stiU deer ; and on the third she was free ; and 
she told the hunter that she was the king of Loch- 
lin's daughter, enchanted by the old man, and that she 
would marry the hunter if he came to such a hill.) 

The deer ran away, and he followed till they came 
to a house thatched with heather ; and then the deer 
leaped on the house, and she said, " Go in now, thou 
fisher's son, and eat thy filL" He went in and there 
was a table spread with every kind of meat and drink, 
and no one within ; for this was a robber's house, and 
they were away lifting spoil. 

So the fisher's son went in, and as the deer had 
told him, he sat him down, and ate and drank ; and 
when he had enough he went under a togsaid (hogshead). 

He had not been long there when the twenty- four 
robbers came home, and they knew that some one 
had been at their food, and they began to grumble and 
dispute. Then the leader said, " Why wiU you dis- 
pute and quarrel ? the man that has done this is here 
under the mouth of this hogshead, take him now, and 
let four of you go out and kill him." 

So they took out Iain, the fisher's son, and four of 


them killed him ; and then they had their food and 
slept, and in the morning they went ont as nsnal. 

When they had gone the deer came where Iain 
was, and she shook sol (wax) from her ear on the dead 
man, and he was alive and whole as he was before. 
" Now," said she, ** trust me, go in and eat as thou 
didst yesterday." 

So Iain, the fisher's son, went in and ate and drank 
as he had done ; and when he had enough he went 
in under the mouth of the hogshead ; and when the 
robbers came home, there was more of their food eaten 
than on the day before, and they had a worse dispute. 
Then the captain said^ *' The man that did it is there, 
go out now with him four of you, and kiU him ; and 
let those who went last night be killed also, because he 
is now alive." So the four robbers were slain, and Iain 
was killed again ; and the rest of the robbers ate and 
drank, and slept ; and on the morrow before dawn 
they were off again. Then the deer came, and she 
shook SOL from her right ear on Iain the fisher's son, 
and he was alive as weU as before, in a burst of sweat 

That day Iain ate and drank, and hid as before ; 
and when the robbers came home, the captain ordered 
the four who had gone out to be slain; and now 
there were eight dead ; and four more killed Iain the 
fisher's son, and left him there. On the morrow the 
deer came as before, and Iain was brought alive ; and 
the next day the robbers all killed each other.* 

* I am sure this has been a nnmerical pazzle, such as " tlie 

shealisg of Daan's men." As it now stands there would remain 

four robbers who had not earned death like the rest, and it must be 

wrong. Perhaps this is the problem : — 

Alive. Dead. 

John and 24 robbers . . . =26. 

1. John killed by 4 men . . . . ^^ 24 to 0, and has 2d life. 

2. John and the 4 »= 5 killed by 4 each =^ 20 to 4, and has 3d life. 


On that day tlie deer came, and Iain followed her to 
the white house of a widow, where theye lived an old 
hag, and Gille Gaol dubh, a slender dark lad, her 
son, and the deer said, " Meet me to-morrow at eleven 
in yonder church," and she left him there. 

On the morrow he went, but the carlin stuck a 
BiOB NIMH, spike of hurt, in the outside of the door 
post ; and when he came to the church he fell asleep, 
and the black lad was watching him. Then they 
heard the sweetest music they ever heard coming, and 
the finest lady that ever was came and tried to waken 
him ; and when she could not, she wrote her name 
under his arm, Nighean Eigh Eioghachd Baillb fo' 
THUiNN, the daughter of the king of the kingdom of 
the town under waves ; and she said that she would 
come to-morrow, and she went away. When she was 
gone he awoke, and the slim black lad told him what 
had happened, but did not tell him that her name was 
written under his arm 

On the next day it was the same, the sweetest of 
music was heard, and the lady came, and she laid his 
head on her knee and dressed his hair; and when 
she could not awaken him, she put a snuff-box in his 
pocket, and cried, and went away. 

3. The 20 have all earned death, and kill each other, and John 
remains, having had 2 lives in addition to the 1 which he 
first had, which makes up the usnal mystic number 3. And 
so 3 lives dispose of 24. 

Or this : — Alive. Dead- 

John and 24 robbers . . . «»25. 

1. John killed once by 4 men . . »»24 to 0, and has 2d life. 

2. John and the 4 by 2 each, 10 men «= 20 to 4, and has 3d life. 

3. There are ten guilty and ten who should kill them ; they kill 

each other, and so the 3 lives dispose of the 24. 
This, however, is but a guess. 


On the third day slie said she would never come 
again, and she went away home ; and when she was 
gone he awoke. 

(" I^ow, John MacPhie," said I, " did she not come 
in a chariot with white horses V^ 

" Do thou put in what I tell thee," said the nar- 

" Did she put the box in his pocket 2" 

** Yes she did; now, go on, there is no one in Uist 
who can tell this story as I can; I have known it for 
more than sixty years.") 

(MacCraw had said that the old woman gave the lad 
a great pin to stick m his coat ; that he went to meet 
the lady on a hill, and then he slept Then came the 
lady dressed all in white in a chariot, "carbad," drawn 
by four milk-white steeds ; and she laid his head in 
her lap and dressed his hair, and tried to waken him, 
but in vain. Then she dragged him down the hill, 
but he slept on ; and she left him, but bid the black 
rough-skinned lad teU hiTn to be there on the morrow. 
When she was gone he awoke, and the lad told him. 
On the morrow he went as before, and the lad stuck 
the pin in his coat, and he slept ; then came the lady 
with a sorrowftd face, and she was dressed all in grey, 
and her chariot was drawn by grey steeds ; and she 
did as before but could not rouse him. On the next 
day he would have none of the big ptn ; but the old 
wife gave the lad an apple, and when they sat on the 
hill thirst struck him, and the lad gave him the apple, 
and he ate it, and slept again. Then came the lady 
dressed all in black, with four black steeds ia her 
chariot ; and she laid his head in her lap and dressed 
his hair, and she put a ring on his finger, and she 
wept ; and as she went away she said, " He will never 
see me again, for I must go home.") 


When the lad awoke (said John MacPhie), Bha e 
falbh gas an robh dabhadh air a bhonan, toladh air a 
chasan, neoil dubha doracha na oidhche a tighinn neoil 
sithe seamh an latha ga f hagail gas an robh eoin bega 
an t-shleigh a gabhail an am bun gach preass a b' f haisge 
dhaibh na chèile. 

He was going tUl there was blackening on hid 
soles, holes in his feet, the dark black clouds of the 
night coming, the quiet peaceful clouds of day leaving 
him, till the httle mountain birds were betaking them- 
selves about the root of each bush that was nearest to 
them ; and he went till he reached the house of a 
wife, who said, " All hail ! son of the great fisher in 
EirÌTìTì, I know thy journey and thine errand; come in 
and I will do what I can for thee (and here came in a 
lot of queer language which I could not catch). So he 
went in, and on the morrow she said, " I have a sister 
who dwells on the road ; it is a walk of a year and a 
day, but here are a pair of old brown shoes with holes 
in them, put them on and thou wilt be there in an in- 
stant ; and when thou art there, turn their toes to the 
known, and their heels to the unknown, and they will 
come home ; and so he did. 

The second sister did the very same ; but she said, 
" I have a third sister, and she has a son, who is herd 
to the birds of 4;he air, and sets them asleep, perhaps 
he can help thee;" and then she gave him another 
pair of shoes, and he went to the third sister. 

The third said she did not know how to help him 
farther, but perhaps her son might, when he came 
home ; and he, when he came, proposed that the cow 
should be killed ; and after some talk, that was done, 
and the meat was cooked, and a bag made of the hide, 
red side out ; and John, the fisher's son, was put 
in with his gun, but he left the dog and the Mcon. 

THE widow's son. ^99 

He had not been long in the bag when the Crevee- 
nach* came, for she had a nest in an island, and she 
raised the red bag ; but she had not gone far when 
she dropped it in the sea. Then the other one came, 
and she gripped to it firmly with her claws ; and at 
last they left the bag on the island where aU the birds 
of the air were wont to sleep, f He came out of the 
bag ; and he was for a day and year living on what he 
had, and on the birds which he kiUed with his gun ; 
but at last there was nothing more to eat, and he 
thought he would die there. Then he searched his 
pockets for food, and found the box which the lady 
had put there ; he opened it, and three came out, and 
they said, " Eege gu djeege,} master, good, what shall 
we do ?" and he said, " Take me to the realm of the 
king under the waves ;" and in a moment there he was.§ 

* This word is unknown to me. It was explained to mean a 
bird like a large eagle. 

t MacCraw skipped all the old women and took him at once 
to an old man, who was herding a cow, and said he would rather 
do anything else, hut his wife made him do it. He went home 
with him, and after much chaflfering bought the cow for as much 
gold as would go from her nose to her tail. Then he and all 
that he had were put into the hide with the meat ; and with the 
wind oflf the strand (traigh) he had himself thrown into the sea. 
The great birds pounced on the red bag, and carried him to their 
nest, where he killed the young ones, and rolled over the rock 
into the sea. He was lifted again by the birds and landed in 

i The explanation of these sounds was, that it was *' as if they 
were asking." The sounds mean nothing that I know in any 

§ MacCraw said that the box had been given to him by his 
grandfather. It first appeared in Lochlann ; and " he " that was 
within said, " Good master, good master, what shall ' we* do ? " 
The hunter had then been recognized by the king's daughter ; so 
he ordered a palace to be built. 


He went up to the house of a weaver ; and after 
he had been there for some time, the weaver came 
home with flesh, and other things from the great town ; 
and he gave Tiitti both meat and lodging. 

On the morrow the weaver told him that there 
was to be a horse race in the town ; and he bethought 
him of the box, and opened it ; and three came out 
and said, " Eege gu djeege. Master, good, what shall 
we do ?" and he said, " Bring me the finest horse that 
ever was seen, and the grandest dress, and glass shoes ;" 
and he had them all in a minute. Now he who won 
the races was to have the king's daughter to wife. 
Then he went, and won, and the king's daughter saw 
him ; but he never stayed ; he went back to the 
weaver, and threw three " mam " handsfcdl of gold 
into his apron, and said that a great gentleman, who 
won the race, had given him the gold ; and then he 
broke the weaver's loom, and tore the cloth to bits. 

Next day there was a dog race ; and he got a finer 
dress, and a splendid dog, by the help of the box, and 
won, and threw handsfull of gold to the weaver, and 
did more mischief in his housa 

On the third day it was a falcon race, and he did 
the very same ; and he was the man who was to marry 
the princess, but he was nowhere to be found when 
the race was over. 

Then (as happens in plenty of other stories) the 
whole kingdom was gathered, and the winner of the 
prize was nowhere to be found. At last they came to 
the weaver's house, and the hunter's beard was grown 
over his face, and he was dirty and travel-stained ; and 
he had given all the gold to the weaver, and smashed 
everything ; and he was so dirty and ugly, and good 
for nothing, that he was to be hanged. But when he 
was under the gallows, he was to make the gallows 

THE widow's son. 3OI 

speech, seabmoin na cboighe ; and he put up his arm, 
and the king's daughter saw the name which she had 
written there, and knew hiTn ; and she called out, 
" Hold your hands, for every one in the kingdom 
shall die if that man is hurt" And then she took 
him by the hand, and they were to be married. 

Then she dressed him grandly, and asked how he 
had found her out ; and he told her ; and she asked 
where he had found the box ; and he said, when he 
was in extremity in the island; and then she took 
him by the hand before her father, and all the kings, 
and she said she woidd marry the fisher's son, for he 
it was who had freed her from spells.* 

" Oh kings," said she, " if one of you were killed 
to-day, the rest would fly ; but this man put his trust 
in me, and had his head cut off three times. Because 

* Here, according to MacCraw, he built a palace ; and one of 
the rivals stole the magic box, and carried off the princess and 
the palace to the realm of rats ; and when the widow's son saw 
that the palace was gone he was very sorrowful, and went down 
to the shore ; and there he met with an old man, who took pity 
ou him, and offered to help him. He threw a rod into the sea, and 
it became a boat ; and he said, " Here 's for thee a he-cat, and 
he will sail with thee ;'* and the cat sat at the helm, and they 
• hoisted the three tall towering sails, etc., etc. {The cUdpcaaaget 
descriptive of the voyctge.) When they reached the realm of rats, 
the first rat that the cat saw he caught ; and the rat said, '< Thine 
is my lying down and rising up ; let me go and I will serre 
thee.'* So the cat let him go; and the man said, "Now steal 
for me the snuff-box that the man in the castle has." " That," 
said the rat, " is easy, for it is on the window ledge ; " and 
the rat stole the box. Then the man opened it, and *' they " said 
" Qood master, good master, what shall 'we* do ? " and he said, 
" Take me and my wife, and that castle, back to Loclilann ; and 
be knocking each other's heads about till we arrive, for that you 
brought it here." So they were all carried back to Lochlann, 
and then the right wedding was held. 


he has done so much for me, I will marry him rather 
than any one of the great men who have come to 
marry me ; for many kings have tried to free me from 
the spells, and none could do it but Iain here, the 
fisher's son." 

Then a great war ship was fitted up, and sent for 
the old carlin who had done all the evil, and for her 
black slim son ; and seven fiery furnaces were set in 
order, and they were burnt, and the ashes were let fly 
with the wind ; and a great wedding was made, and " I 
left them in the realm." 

This story was first told to me on the 2d September 1869 by 
MacCraw as we walked along the road. He said that he had 
learned it as a child from an old wife in North Uist, whose cot- 
tage was the resort of all the children for miles and miles. He 
has often gone himself six or seven miles in the snow, and he 
used to sit with dozens of other bairns about her fire, mute and 
motionless for the best part of the night. The children broaght 
oiferings of tobacco, which they got from older people, as best 
they could, and for each bit the old woman gave a stoiy. He 
" never heard her like." 

The story lasted for several miles, and my companion said 
that he had forgotten much of it. He had forgotten nearly all 
the measured prose phrases with which, as he said, the story was 
garnished, and he said that he had not heard it for many years. 

It seemed to resemble the story of Aladdin in some incidents, 
but my companion said that he had never heard of the Arabian 
Nights. He said that in Kinross and Perthshire it is the custom 
for the hinds and farm-labourers to assemble and repeat stories in 
broad Scotch, which closely resemble those told in the islands, 
but which are not garnished with measured prose. He thinks 
that as there are many Highland servants in the country, they 
tell the heads of their stories, and then others repeat them in 
Lowland Scotch. This may be, and in like manner the Highland 
servants may pick up and carry home, and repeat in Gaelic, 
scraps of such books as the Arabian Nights. Still, as such stories 
do resemble books quite beyond the reach of the people, the 

THE widow's son. 303 

resemblance which this bore to the Arabian Nights may be due 
to common origin. 

On the 5th I asked MacPhie if he knew the story. He did ; 
and I got him to tell it twice over. It was vain to attempt to make 
him dictate, for he broke down directly he was stopped, or his pace 
altered ; and I could not write Gaelic, at all events, fast enough 
to do any good ; so I took notes in English. The Magic Box was 
in both versions, but the transport of the castle to a foreign 
country, and back by the help of the box, was not in old Mac- 
Phie's story. 

There is a long story about the country of rats, of which I 
have only heard part as yet. 

BiOB NiMH, spike of hurt, and the big pin, maybe " the thorn 
of sleep '' referred to in the introduction to Norse Tales, as men- 
tioned in the Yolsung Tale. 

The town under the waves is common in Gaelic stories; 
the phrase probably arose from the sinking of hills beneath the 
horizon as a boat sails away from the shore. In another story it 
is said, Thog eud Eilean— they " raised an Island "—when they 
were approaching one. 

The bag of skin with the man inside, is remarkably like a tra- 
dition of the skin boats in which the old inhabitants of Caledonia 
used to invade England. 

The great birds belong to popular tales of many lands, and 
are common in Gaelic. I have one story in which the hero is 
carried into a dragon's nest, and does much the same as this 
one did. 


From John Dewar, April 1860. 

rpHEEE was (at) some time a tenant^ and he was right 
-*- bad to his servants, and there was a pranky man 
who was called Gille Neumh Mac-a-Eusgaich (holy lad 
son of Skinner), and he heard teU of him, and he went 
to the fair, and he took a straw in his mouth, to shew 
that he was for taking service. 

The dour tenant came the way, and he asked Mac-a- 
Eusgaich if he would take service ; and Mac-a-Eusgaich 
said that he would take it if he could find a good 
master ; and Mac-a-Eusgaich said, 

"What shall I have to do if I take with thee ? " 
And the dour tenant said, " Thou wilt have to 
herd the mountain moor." 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, ** I will do that." 
And ihe tenant eaid, " And thou wilt have to hold 
the plough."* 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, "I will do that." 
" And thou wilt have ever so many other matters to 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, " Will these matters be 
hard to do?" 

And the other said, " They will not be (so), I will 
but ask thee to do the thing that thou art able to do ; 

* Crann, a tree. 


but I will put into thje covenant that if thou dost not 
answer, thou must pay me two wages." 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, " I will put into the 
covenant, if thou askest me to do anything but the 
thing which I am able to do, thou must give me two 

And they agreed about thai 

And the dour tenant said, ^^ I am putting it into 
the covenant that if either one of us takes the rue that a 
thong shall be taken out of his skin, from the back of 
his head to his heel." 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, " Mind that thou hast 
said that^ old carle." 

And he took service with the hard tenant, and he 
went home to him. 

The first work that Mao-a-Eusgaich was bidden to 
do, was to go to the moss to cast peats, and Mac-a- 
Eusgaich asked for his momiug meal before he should 

The following was omitted by the collector, and inserted by 
him in his revise of the Gaelic : — " There was (at) some time a 
tenant, and he was right bad to his servants ; and when the time 
of service was nearly ended, he used to find a pretext for quar- 
relling with them. He would cast out with them and send theni 
away without their wages. And he sent away many of his ser- 
vants in this way. And there was a pranky man whose name 
was Siunts servant, son of the fleecer (Gilleneaomh Mac-a-Bus- 
gaich), and he said that he would take service with the dour 
tenant, and that he would give him trick about,* that he would 
be as far north as the dour tenant might be south. Mac-a-Bus- 
gaich went to the fair of Peevish fair, and he took a straw in his 
month, to shew that he was for taking service." 

* The original meaning of the Gaelic phrase is to take a turn 
oat of a man,— untwist his turns. The expression then conveys 
the idea of a man. winding coils about another ; and one with more 
craft unwinding them ; and the next phrase is as metaphorical.. 


go, 80 that he need not come home for it, and he got 
as much m^ as they used to allow the servants at one 
maal, and he ate that ; and he asked for his dinner, so 
that he need not stop at mid-Klay, and he got the 
allowance which there was for dinner, and he ate that ; 
and he asked for his supper, so that he need not come 
home at nighty and they gave him that, and he ate 
that; and he went where his master was, and he 
asked him, 

"What are thy servants wont to do after their 

And his master said to him, " It is their wont to 
put off their clothes and go to lie down.*' 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich went where his bed was, and 
he put off his clothes, and he went to lie down. 

The mistress went where the man of the town (the 
master) was and she asked him, " What sort of a ser- 
vant he had got there, that he had eaten three meals at 
one meal, and had gone to lie down)" And the 
master went where Mac-a-Eusgaich was, and he said to 

" Why art thou not at work ? " 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, " It is that thou thyself 
saidst to me that it was thy servants' wont^ when they 
had got their supper, to put off their clothes and go to 
lie down." 

And the master said, " And why didst thou eat the 
three meals together ? " 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, '^ It is that the three 
meals were little enough to make a man content" 

And the master said, " Get up and go to thy work." 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, " I will get up, but I 
must get meat as I need, or my work will accord. • I 
am but to do as I am able. See ! art thou taking the 
rue, old carle?" 


'^ I am not, I am not," said the carle, and Mac-a- 
Ensgaicli got his meat better after that 

And there was another day and the carle asked 
Mac-a-Eusgaich to go to hold the plough in a dale that 
was down j&x>m the house, and Mac-a-Rusgaich went 
away, and he reached (the place) where the plough 
was, and he caught the stilts in his hands and there he 

And his master came where he was, and his master 
said to him, 

" Why art thou not making the red land Ì "* And 
Mac-a-Eusgaich said, '^ It is not my bargain to make a 
thraive, but to hold the plough ; and thou seest that I 
am not letting her go away." 

And his master said, " Adversity and calamities be 
upon thee ! " 

And Mac-a-Rusgaich said, " Adversity and calami- 
ties be on thyself old carle ! Art thou taking the rue 
of the bargain that thou madest Ì " 

^^ Oh I I am not^ I am not^'' said the old carle. 

* Another way of telling this part : — ^Thainìg an tuathanach 
do lonnBaidh, s dh fharraid e deth cia air-son nach eil thu a 
deanamh an deargadli, Agus Thabhairt Mac-a-Knsgaich ris, cha 
n è mo bhargansa deargadh a dheanamb, ach an crann achumail, 
8 tba tbn a faicinn nacb eil mi e leigidb leatha falbh na 'm 
bithinn a deargadh an talamh, cha b'ann a cu'mail a chroinn a 

The farmer came to him and asked him, why art thou not 
making the red land? And Mac-a-Bnsgaich said, it was not my 
bargain to do the reddening, bat to hold the plough ; and thou 
seest that I am not letting her go away. If I were reddening the 
land, it would not be holding the plough that I would be. 

In some districts, the farmers call the ploughed land the red 
land, and the unploughed land white land. 

John Pewab. 


'' But if thou wilt give me another lewaid for it^ I 
will make a plonghing," said Mac-a-Knsgaicb. 

^' Oh, I wiU give, I will give it ! " said the carle ; 
and they made a bargain about the thraiye. 

And there was a day, and the hard tenant asked 
Mac-a-Eusgaich to go to the mountain moor to look if 
he could see anything wrong, and Mac-a-Eusgaich went 
up to the mountain.* And when he saw his own 
time he came home, and his master asked him, 

^'Was each thing right in the mountain ?" and 
Mac-a-Eusgaich said, 

'^ The mountain himself was all right." 

And the hard tenant said, '^ That is not what I am 
asking ; but were the neighbours' cattle on their own 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, " K they were they were, 
and if they were not let-a-be. It is my bargain to herd 
the mountain, and I will keep the mountain where it 


And the carle said, ^' Adversity and calamities be 
upon thee, thou boy ! " 

And he said, ^'Adversity and calamities be on 
thyself, old carle ! Art thou taking the rue that thou 
has made such a bargain T 

" I am not, I am not ! " said the dour tenant ; " I 
will give thee another reward for herding the cattle." 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, '^ K I get another reward, 
I will take in hand if I see the neighbours' cattle on 
thy ground that I will turn them back, and if I see thy 
cattle on the neighbours' ground I will turn them back 
to thine own ground ; but though some of them should 
be lost, I will not take in hand to find them ; but if thou 
askest me to go to seek them, I will go, and if I get 
them I will bring them home." 

* Against, or at the monntain. 


'^And the dour tenant had for it but to agree 
with Mac-a-Eusgaich, and to give Mac-a-Eusgaich an- 
other reward for herding his cattle. 

Next day the carle himself went to the hill, and 
he could not see his heifers ; he sought for them, but 
could not find them. He went home, and he said to 

^^ Thou must go thyself to search for the heifers, 
Mac-a-Eusgaich, I could not find them this day ; and 
go thou to search for them, and seiffch for them until 
thou find them." 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, ^' And where shall I go 
to seek them ? " 

The old carle said, '^ Gk) and search for them in the 
places where thou thinkest that they are ; and search 
for them in places where thou dost not suppose them 
to be." 

Mac-a-Eusgaich said, " Well, then, I will do that" 

The old carle went into the house ; and Mac-a- 
Eusgaich got a ladder, and set it up against the house ; 
he went up upon the house, and he began at pulling 
the thatch off the house, and throwing it down. And 
before the carle came out again, the thatch was about 
to be all but a very little off the house, and the rafters 
bare ; and Mac-a-Eusgaich was pulling the rest and 
throwing it down. 

The old carle said, ^* Adversity and calamity be 
upon thee, boy ; what made thee take the thatch off 
the house in that way 1" 

Mac-a-Eusgaich said, "It is because that I am 
searching for the heifers in the thatch of the house." 

The old carle said, "How art thou seeking the 
heifers in the thatch of the house, where thou art sure 
that they are not." 

Mao-a-Eusgaich said, '^ Because thou thyself saidest 


to me to search for them in places where I thought 
that they were ; and also in places where I did not 
suppose them to be ; and there is no place where I 
have less notion that they might be in than in the 
thatch of the house." 

And the carle said, " Adversity and calamity be 
upon thee, lad." 

Mac-a-RusgaLch said, " Adversity and calamity be 
upon thyself, old carle ; art thou taking the rue that 
thou desiredst me to search for the heifers in places 
where I did not suppose them to be Ì " 

" I am not, I am not," said the carle. " Gro now 
and seek them in places where it is likely that they 
may be." 

" I will do so," said Mac-a-Rusgaich ; and Mac-a- 
Eusgaich went to seek the heifers, and he found them, 
and brought them home. 

Then his master desired Mac-a-Eusgaich to go to 
put the thatch on the house, and to make the house as 
water-tight to keep out rain as he was able. Mac-a- 
Eusgaich did so, and they were pleasant for a while 
after that. 

The dour tenant was going to a wedding, and he 
asked Mac-a-Eusgaich when the evening should come, to 
put a saddle on the horse, and to go to the house of the 
wedding to take him home ; and he said to him, 

" When it is near the twelfth hour, cast an ox eye 
on the side where I am, and I will know that it is 
near the time to go home." * 

'^ I will do that," said Mac-a-Eusgaich. 

* Damh shrnl — an ox eye. To cast an ox eye at any one 
means, according to Dewar, to look with a wry face, and open the 
eyes wide, and stare at a person — as a signal. The idiom, to 
cast an eye, is common to Graelic and English ; and so is the ex- 
pression, to cast a sheep^B eye. 

mao-a-rusgàich. 311 

When the tenant went to the wedding, Mac-a-Ens- 
gaich went to put the stots into the fSemg, and he took 
a knife and took their eyes out, and he put the eyes in 
his pocket j and when the night came, Mac-a-Eusgaich 
put the saddle on the horse, and he went to the wed> 
ding house lo seek his master, and he reached the 
wedding house, and he went into the company, and 
he sat till it was near upon the twelfth hour. 

And then he began at throwing the eye of a stot at 
the carle at the end of each while, and at last the old 
carle noticed him, and he said to hm^ 

"What art thou doing?" 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, " I am casting an ox-eye 
on the side that thou art> for that it is now near upon 
the twelfth hour." 

And the old carle said, " Dost thou think thyself 
that thou hast gone to take the eyes out of the stots Ì " 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, " It is not thinking it I 
am at all ; I am sure of it Thou didst ask me thyself 
to cast an ox eye the side thou mightst be when it was 
near upon the twelfth hour, and how could I do that 
unless I shoidd have taken the eyes out of the stots ? " 

And the tenant said, " Adversity and calamities be 
upon thee, thou boy." 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, "Adrersiiy and cala- 
mities on thyself, old carle ! Art thou taking the rue 
that thou didst ask me to do it ? " 

" I am not, I am not I " said the carle ; and they 
went home together, and there was no more about it 
that night 

And the end of a day or two after that, his master 
asked Mac-a-Eusgaich to go up to the gates at the top 
and make a sheep footpatL**^ 

* Staib, a path or causeway in a wet bog. 

Chasa, for the feet, or of the feet. Chaobach, of sheep. 


^^I will do that," said Mac-arBusgalch ; and he 
went^ and he put the sheep into {he fang, and he cut 
their feet off, and he made a stair with the sheeps' legs, 
and he went back where his master was, andfhis master 
said to him, 

"Didst thou that?" 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, *' I did. Thou majest 
go thyself and see." 

And the master went to see the sheep footpath 
that Mac-a-Eusgaich had made, and when he arrived 
and saw the sheeps' legs in the path, he went into a 
rage, and he said, " Adversity and calamities be upon 
thee, boy ; what made thee cut the legs off the sheep ?" 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, " Didst thou not ask me 
thyself to make a sheep footpath; and how should I 
make a sheep footpath unless I should cat the legs off 
the sheep Ì See ! Art thou taking the rue that thou 
didst ask me to do it, old carle 1" 

" I am not, I am not ! " said his master. 

" What have I to do again Ì " said Mac-a-Eusgaich. 

" It is," said his master, " to clean and to wash the 
horses and the stable, both without and within." 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich went and he cleaned out the 
stable, and he washed the walls on the outside, and he 
washed the stable on the inside ; he washed the horses, 
and he killed them, and he took their insides out of 
them, and he washed their insides, and he went where 

According to Dewar, a path made over a bog, when a gate 
happens to be where the ground is soft, or where peat moss is. 
If sheep be often driven through such a gate, the pathway soon 
gets soft, so that the sheep sink in it. It is repaired by cutting 
brushwood or heather, and laying it on the soft place with a 
covering of gravel, and is called Stair Ghaaa Caorach. 

I know the kind of road meant, but I never heard the name. — 


his master was, atii lie asked him what he was to do 
again ; and his master said to him to put the horses in 
what concerned them (harness) in the plough, and to 
take a whOiet at ploughing. 

Mac-a-Kusgaich said, "The horses won't answer me." 

" What tils them Ì " said his master. 

" They won't walk for me," said Mac-a-Rusgaich. 

" Go and try* them," said his master. 

And Mac-a-Rusgaich went where the horses were, 
and he put a morsel of one of them into his mouth, 
and he went back where his master was, and he said, 
" They have but a bad taste." 

" What fi^rt thou saying ? " said his master. 

The master went where his horses were, and 
when he saw them, and the inside taken out of them 
and washed and cleaned, he said, ** What is the reason 
of this Ì " 

"It is," said Mac-a-Rusgaich, "that thou thyself 
didst ask me to clean and to wash both the horses and 
the stable both without and within, and I did that. 
Art thou taking the rue Ì " said Mac-a-Rusgaich. 

" I had rather that I had never seen thee," said the 

"Well then," said Mac-a-Rusgaich, "thou must 
give me three wages, or else a thong of thy skin shall 
be taken from the back of thy head down to thy heeL" 

The dour tenant said that he had rather the thong 
to be taken out of his skin, from the back of his head 
to his heel, than give the money to a filthy clown like 

And according to law the dour tenant was tied, and 
a broad thong taken from the back of his head down 
his back. And he cried out that he had rather give 
even the money away than that the thong should be 

* Feuch, Ì8 either taste or try in the Gaelic. 


cut any longer ; and he paid the money, and he was 
forced to be a while under the leeches, and he was a 
dour man no longer. 

After that Mac-a-Eusgaich was set to be servant to 
a giant that was bad to his servants. 

Mac-a-Eusgaich reached the giant,' and he said, 
" Thy servant is come." 

The giant said, *' K thou be servant to me, thou 
must keep even work with me, or else I will break 
thy bones as fine as meaL"* 

Said Mac-a-Eusgaich, "What if I beat thee ?" 
"If thou beatest me,'* said the giant^ "thou shalt 
have like wages." 

" What are we going to do, then ? " said Mac-a- 

" It is (this)," said the giant ; " we wiLl go to bring 
home faggots." 

And they went and they reached the wood, and the 
giant began to gather every root that was thicker than 
the rest^ and Mac-a-Eusgaich began to gather eveiy 
top that was slenderer than the others. 

The giant looked and he said, 

" What art thou doing so 1" 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich said, "I am for that we 
should take the whole wood with us instead of leaving 
a part of it useless behind u&" 

Said the giant, " We are long enough at this work ; 
we will take home these biu-dens, but we will get other 
work again." 

The next work they went to was to cut a swathe : 
and the giant asked Mac-a-Eusgaich to go first Mac- 
a-Eusgaich would mow the swathe, and he began and 
he went round about short on the inner side, and the 
giant had to go a longer round on the outside of him. 

* Fbonnoih, coansei unsifted oatmeal ; poandings. 


^' What art thou doing so T' said the giant* 

" I " said Mac-a-Busgaich, " am for that we should 
mow the park at one cut. instead of turning back every 
time we cut the swathe, and we shall have no time lost 
at all. 

The giant saw that his cut would be much longer 
than the cut of Mac-a-Eusgaich, and he said, " We are 
long enough at this work, we will go to another work. 
We will go and we will thresh the com." 

And they went to thresh the com, and they got the 
flails, and they began to work. And when the giant 
would strike tib.e shea^ he would make it spring over 
the baulk (rafter), and when Mac-a-Eusgaich would 
strike it it would He down on the floor. 

He would strike, and Mac-a-Eusgaich would say to 
the giant^ 

"Thou art not half hitting it Wilt thou not 
make it crouch as I am doing )" 

But the stronger the giant struck, the higher leaped 
the shea^ and Mac-a-Eusgaich was laughing at him ; 
and the giant said, 

" We are long enough at this work ; I will try thee 
in another way. We will go and try which of us can 
cast a stone sàx)ngest in the face of a crag that is be- 
yond the falL" 

"I am willing," said Mac-a-Eusgaich; and the 
giant went and he gathered the hardest stones he 
could find And Mac-a-Eusgaich went and he got 
clay, and he rolled it into little round balls, and they 
went to the side of the fall 

The giant threw a stone at the face of the crag, and 
the stone went in splinters, and he said to Mac-a-Bus- 

" Do that, boy." 

Mac-a-Busgaich threw a diidan lump of the clay. 


and it stuck in the face of the cia^^ and he said to the 
giant, " Do that, old carL" 

And the giant would throw as strongly as he could, 
but the more pith the giant would send with the stone 
he would throw, the smaller it would break. And 
Mac-a-Eusgaich would throw another little ball of the 
clay, and he would say, 

" Thou art not half throwing it. Wilt thou not 
make the stone stick in the crag as I am doing )" 

And the giant said, " We are long enough at this 
work ; we will go and take our dinner, and then we will 
see which of us can best throw the stone of force 
(putting stone)." 

"I am willing," said Mac-a-Eusgaich, and they 
went home. 

They began at their dinner, and the giant said to 

" Unless thou eatest of bread and cheese as much as 
I eat, a thong shall be taken out of thy skin, fìrom the 
back of thy head to thy heel." 

" Make seven of it," said Mac-a-EusgaicL " On 
covenant that seven thongs shall be taken out of thy 
skin, from the back of thy head to thy heel, unless 
thou eatest as much as I eat." 

" Try thee, then," said the giant 

" Stop then till I get a drink," said Mac-a-Ensgaich ; 
and he went out to get a drink, and he got a leathern 
bag, and he put the bag between his shirt and his skin, 
and he went in where the giant was, and he said 
to the giant, " Try thee now." 

The two began to eat the bread and the cheese, 
and Mac-a-Eusgaich was putting the bread and the 
cheese into the bag that he had in under his shirty but 
at last the giant said, 

" It is better to cease than burst" 


" It is better even to burst than to leave good meat,'' 
said Mac-a-Kusgaich. 

" I will cease/' said the giant. 

" The seven Uiongs shall be taken from the back of 
thy head to thy heel," said Mac-a-Eusgaich. 

" I will try thee yet," said the giant. 

" Thou hast thy two choices," said Mac-a-Eusgaich. 

The giant got curds and cream, and he filled a 
cup for himself and another cup for Mac-a-Eusgaich. 

" Let's try who of us is best now," said the giant. 

'' It 's not long till that is seen," said Mac-a-Eus- 
gaich. '' Let's try who can soonest drink what is in 
the cup." 

And Mac-a-Eusgaich drank his fill, and he put 
the rest in the bag, and he was done before the giant 

And he said to the giant, " Thou aji; behind." 

The giant looked at him, and he said, "Ceasing 
is better than bursting." 

^' Better is bursting itself than to leave good meat," 
said Mac-a-EusgaicL 

" We will go out and try which of us can throw 
the stone of force the furthest, before we do more," 
said the giant 

" I am willing," said Mac-a-Eusgaich. And they 
went out where the stone was, but the giant was so 
fall that he could not stoop to lift it 

" lift that stone and throw it," said the giant 

" The honour of beginning the beginning is to be 
thine own," said Mac-a-Eusgaich. 

The giant tried to lift the stone, but he could not 
stoop. Mac-a-Eusgaich tried to stoop, and he said, 

" Such a belly as .this shall not be hindering me," 
and he drew a knife from a sheath that was at his side, 
and he put the knife in the bag that was in front of 
idnXf and he let out all that was within, and he said 


"There is more room without than within," and he 
lifted the stone and threw it, and he said to the giant, 
" Do that." 

" Canst then not throw it farther than that )" said 
the giant. 

" Thou hast not thrown it as far as that same/' said 

" Over here thy knife !" said the giant 

Mac-a-Kusgaich reached his knife to the giant 
The giant took the knife, and he stabhed the knife into 
his belly, and he let out the meat ; and the giant fell 
to earth, and Mac-a-Eusgaich laughed at him, and the 
giant found death. 

Mac-a-Eusgaich went in to the giant's house, and 
he got his gold and silver, then he was rich, and then 
he went home fully pleased. 


Bha uaireiginn Tuathanach ann 's bha e ro dhona ri sheirbhisich, agus 
tra a bhiodli an tiom-fleirbhis aca dlUth air a bhitb aig crioiche, 
gheibhidh e leisgeul gu connsacbadb a dheanamb riuth, tbilftadh e a 
mach riutha, s cbuireadh e air falbb iad gun an tnarasdaL Agns 
chnir e air falbb moran do a sheirbbishich air an doigh sin. Agua 
bba fear pratail ann do b' ainm gillenaomh Mac-a-Rnsgaich, 'b chnal 
e iomradb air s thubbairt e, gun gabhadh easan tuarasdal aig an 
toathanacb dboirbh, s gnn tugadh e car man seach as, gnm bitbeadh 
esan cbo fada ma tbuath, is a bhiodh an toathanacb doirbh ma dheas, 
Cbaidb Mac-a-Rasgaicb chun faigbir na feiU groig, s ghabh e tràbh 
na bhenl, mar cbombarradh ga*n robh e los mninntearas a gbabhail. 
Thainig an Taatbanacb doiribh an rathad agos db* fharraid e do 
Mac-a^Rnsgaich a' gabhadh e mninntearas, *s tbnbhairt Bfao-a-Rosg- 
aich ga ghabhadb nam fiiigheadh e maigbistear math; 'S thnbhairt 
Ifac-a-Rusgaich, *< Ga-dtf a bhiodbsagum ri dbeanamh ma ghabhaa ml 
agnt?^ 'S thobhairt an toathanach dohribh, <* Bithidh agot ris a monadh 


a bhnachailleachd/' *b thnirt Mac-a-Bnsgaich, *<Ni mi sin," 's thnirt an 
tnathnach, <^ 'S bithidh agut ris a chrann a chamaìl," *s tìiuirt Mac-a- 
Rusgaich. « Ni mi Bin." « 'S bithidh nathuìbhire do ^othaichean 
eile agut ri dheanamh caideachd,'* 's thuìrt Mac-a-Kusgaich. *' Am b 
na gnothaichean sin doilìch a dheanamh?" 's tbuirt am fearefle, 
** iJha bhì, cha 'n iart mise ort a dheanamh ach rnd a 's uirainn duit 
a dheanamh, Ach cuirìdh mi ^sa chumhnant, mar freagair thn, gn 'm 
feum thu dà thuarasdal a phaigh dhomhsa," 's thoirt Mac-a-fiusgaich 
'* Cuirìdh mue ann sa chnmhnant ma dh' iarras tu orm rud air bbithe a 
dhennamh ach rud a 's urrainn mi a dheanamh, gu 'm feum tbusa dà 
thnarasdal a thoirt domhsa;" *s chòirt iad nime a sin. 

Agos thnbhairt an tnathanach doirbh, ** Tba mise a coir ann 'sa 
chumhnaut ma ghabhas a h-aon air bith againn an t-aithreachas, 
gu 'n teid iall a thobhabrt as a chraicionn o chiil a chinn gu 'shail,** *S 
thubhairt Mac-a-Rosgaich. ** Cuimhnich gun dubhairt thu sin a 
bfaòdaìch," 'S ghabh e tuarasdal aig an Tuathanach dhoirbh, 's chaidh 
e dachaidh d' a ionnsaidh. 

'Se a chiad obair a chaidh iarraidhair Mao-a-Busgaich a dheanamh, 
e a dhol do 'n mhonadh athilgeadhmòine, 's dh' iarr Mac-a-Busgaich 
a bhiadh-maidne ma'm falbhadh e, 's nach ruigeadh e a leas tighinn 
dachaidh air a shon, 's fhnair e na bha iad a luathtiachadh do bhiadh 
air seirbheisich aig aon trà, 's dh* ith e sin, 's dh' iarr e a dhinneir 
's nach ruigeadh e a leas stad aig meadhon latha, 's f huair e an loath- 
sacha a bha air son a dhinneir, s dh'ith e sin, 's dh'iarr e a shuipeir 
's nach ruigeadh e a leas tighinn dachaidh aig an oidhche, 's thug iad 
sin da, 's dh'ith e sin; 's chaidh e far an robh a mhaighistear, 's dh' 
fharraid e deth, *< Ciod 's àbbaist do na seirbheisich agutsa a dheanadh 
an deigh an suipeir?" 'g thubhairt a mhaighistear ris, *'Is àbhaist 
doibh an aodach a chuir diubh 's dol a luidh," 's dh' fhalbh Mac-a-Bus- 
gaich far an robh a leaba, 's chair e dheth aodach 's chaidh e a laidb. 
Chiùdh a bhana mhaighistear far an robh fear a bhaile, 's dh' fharr- 
aid i deth, ** Gu-dè an seorsa gille a f huair e an siud, gu'n d' ith e na 
tri tràithean a dh' aon trà, 's gu'n deachaidh e a luidh ?" 's chaidh a 
mhaighistear far an robh Mac-a-Busgaich, 's thubhairt e ris, *' Gar son 
nach eil thu aig obair? 's thubhairt Mac-a-Busgaich." Tha gun 
dubhurt thu-fein rium, gu'm be a b' àbhaist do d* sheirbheisich-sa 
dheanamh 'nuair gheibheadh iad an suipeir, an aodach a chuir diubh 
's dol a luidh, 's thubhairt a mhaighistear, ** 'S cia airson a dh' ith thu 
na tii trà'ii marchomhla?" 's thuirt Mac-a-Busgaich, '*Thà gu'n 
robh na tri triiithean beag gu leoir gu duine a dheanamh sàthach," 's 
thubhairt am maighistear, <*£irich 's rach gu t' obair," 's thubhairt 
Mac-a-Busgaicb eiridh ach feumaidh mi mo bhiadh f haotainn mar is 


cobhaidh dhomh, air neb bidh m' obair d*a rdr, cha*n 'eil orm a 
dheanamh ach mar is urrainn mi, fench a bheil thu a gabhail an 
aireachas a bho'daich,"Cha'n 'eil, cba'n *ei[" orsa am bodach, *s fhuair 
Mac-a-Ru8gaich a bhiadh na b' f hearr na dbeigh sin. 

*S bha latha eil' ann 's dh' iarr am bodach air Mac-a-Rusgaich e a 
dhol a chmnail a cbroinn ann 'n dail a bha sb^it bho'n tigh, 'a dh' 
fhalbh Mac-a-RasGraicb 's rainig e far an robh an crann, 's bheir e sir 
na uaidnean na larahan 's sbeas e ann sin. 'S thainig a mhaighistear 
fax an robh e, 's tbuirt a mhaighistear ris, ** Giaair son nach 'eil thu a 
deanamh an treabhadh ?** *8 thubhairt Mac-a-Rosgaich. " Cha'n e mo 
bhargan treabhadh a dheanamh, ach mi a chnmail a chroinn, 's tha thn 
a faicinn, cha*n 'eil mi a leigeal leatha falbh," 's thubhairt a mhaighis- 
tear. ** Na h-uire *s na h-uireandan orti" 's thabhairt Mao-a-Rnagaich. 
*'Na h-uire agus na h-uireandan ort fhein a bhodaichi a bheil thu 
a gabhail an aireachais do'n bhargan a rinn thu?** "0\ cha*n eil, 
cha'n eil," thuirt am bodach, ** Ach ma bheir thu dhomh duals eU' air 
a shon, nl mi treabba," orsa Mac-a-Rusgaich. ** O* bheir, bheir," orsa 
am bodach. *S rinn iad bargan hr man treabhadh." 

*S bha ann latha 's dh' iarr an tuathanach doiribh air Mac-a-Rusg- 
aich, e a dhol ris a mhonadh, a shealtuinn am fidddh e ni air bith 
air an dochair, 's chaidh Mac-a-Rosgaich ris a mhonadh, 's an uair a 
chunnaic e a thiom fein thainig e dachaidh, s dh' fharraid a mhaighis- 
tear deth, '*Àn robh gach ni ceart ann sa* mhonadh?" 's thuirt Mac-a- 
Rusgaich. ** Bha am monadh e fhein ceart," 's thuirt an tuathanach 
doirbh. <* Cha*n è sin a tha mise a farraid /Kh an robh crodh nan 
coimhearsnaich air an taobh fein?" 's thubhairt Mac-a-RusgaicK 
« Mo bha, bha, 's mar robh leigear da, 'se mo bhargansa a monadh a 
bhuachailleaehd) 8 gleidbidh mise am monadh, far a bheil e," 's thubh- 
airt am bodach. *' Na h-uire s na h-uireandan ort a bhallaich," *8 
thubhairt esan, "Nah-uire's na h-uireandan ort fein a bhodaich,a bheil 
thu a gabhail an aireachas gu*n do rinn thu a leithid do bhargan?" 
" Cha*n eil, cha'n eil," orsa an tuathanach doirbh, ^ bheir mi dhnit 
duals eile air son an crodh a bhuachailleachd," *s thubhairt Mac-a- 
Rusgaich. ** Ma gheibh mise duals eile, gabhaidh mi os laimh mo chi 
mi crodh nan coimhearsnaich air a ghrunnd agadsa, gu'n till mi air 
an ais iad, agus ma chi mi do chrodhsa air grunnd nan ooimhean- 
naich tillidh mi air an aia iad thun do ghrunnd fein, ach ged do theid 
cuid diubh a chall, cha ghabh mi os laimh am faotainn, ach ma dh* 
iarras tu orm dol gu'n iarraidh theid mi ann, *s mo gheibh mi iad bheir 
mi dachaidh iad.*' 

'S cha robh aig an tuathanach dhoirbh air ach cordadAf Mac-a- 
Rusgaich, *8 duals eQe a thobhairt do Mao-a-Ru8gaicb| 'a duaia eile a 


thoirt da air son an crodh a bhaachailleachd. Agus bha iad reidh re 
grathonn n'a dheigh sin. 

An ath latha chaidh am bodadh e fhein ris a mhonadh, agus cha 
b* nrrainn d'a na h-aighean aig fhaicinn, Dh iarr air an son, ach cha 
b* nrrainn d'a am faotuinn. Chaidh e dachaidh ; s thubhairt e ri 
Mac-a-Rusgaich, Is fheudar duit fein dol a dh irraidh air son na *n 
aighean a Mhic-a-Rusgaich, cha b* nrrainn mise am faotuinn an 
dingh, Agas rach thusa gu an iarraidh, s iarr iad gus gu m faigh thu 

Thubhairt Mac-a-Rusgaich, *< Agus c'aite an teid mise ga'n iarr- 

Thubhairt am bodach, ** Rach agus iarr iad ann is na h-aiteachau 
ann san saoil thi^ iad a bhith, agus iarr iad ann an aiteachan ann is 
nach saoil thu iad a bhith." 

Thubhairt Mac-a-Rusgaich, ** Ni mise mar sin ma-ta.** 

Chaidh am bodach a stigh do 'n tigh, Agus fhuair Mac-a-Rusg^ 
aich fàra, s chnis e ris an tigh a. Chaidh e a naird air an tigh, agus 
thòisich e air spionadh na tubhadh far an taigh, s ga thilgidh le 
leathad, Agus ma'n d' thainig am bodach a mach a rithis'd, bha an 
tubhadh gu ach ro bheagan far an taigh, s na cabair lom, Agus Mac- 
a-Rusgaich a a spionadh s a tilgidh le leathad a chorr. 

Thubhairt am bodach, " Na h-unradh s na h-nrchoidean ort a 
bhallaich cia-dè a thug ort an tubhadh a thoirt far an taigh mar 

Thubhairt Mac-arRfisgaich, " Tha gu m bheil mi a'g irraidh na'n 
aighean ann an tubhadh an taigh." Thubhairt am bodach, ** cia mar 
a tha thu a'g iarraidh na'n Aighean ann an tubha an taigh, far am 
bh'eil thu cinnteach nach eil iad ? " 

Thubhairt Mac-a-Rusgaich. *' Tha gun do iarr thu fhein orm, an 
iarraidh far an saoilinn iad a bhith. Agus cuideachd mi gu^n iarr- 
aidh ann an aiteachan, far nach saoilinn iad a bhith. Agus cha *n 
eil aite air bith far an lugh a tha do shaoilsinn agamsa iad a bhith 
ann, na ann an tubh an taigh." 

Thubhairt am bodach, " Na h-unradh agus na h-urchoidean ort a 
bhallaich." Thubhairt Mac-a-Rusgaich, " Na h-unradh s na h-urch- 
oidean ort fein a bhodaich. Am bh^eil thu a gabhail an aireachas gun 
d' iarr thu orm na h-aighean iarraidh far nach saoilinn iad a bhith?** 
" Chan eil, cha 'n eil, thubhairt am bodach, Rach a nise agus iarr iad 
ann an aiteachan far am bheil a coltach gu 'm fact iad a bhih ann.** 
"Ni mise mar sin,** orsa Mac-a-Rusgaich. 

Dh fhalbh Mac-a-Rusgaich a dh iarraidh na*n aighean, Fhuair e 
iad, s thug e dachaidh iad. An sin, dh* iarr a mhaighstir air Mac-a« 



Basgaich, è a dhol a chair an tubhadh air an tigh, sea dheanamh 
an taigh, cho dionach gn uisge a chnmail a mach is a b nrrainn d'a, 
Binn Mac-a-Bosgaich sin, Agus bha iad reidk re grathunn na dheigh 
sin. . . . ,: 

Bha an toathanach doirbh a dol a dh* ionnsaidh banais, 's dh' iarr 
e air Mac-a-Busgaich, tra thigeadh am feasgar, e a choir diollaid air 
an each, 'sea dhol a dh' ionnsaidh tigh na bainnse, gas esan a thoirt 
dachaidh, 's thubhairt e ris. "An oair a bhithis a dlii air dk-uair- 
dheag, tilg damh-shail an taobh a bhitheas mi 's aitheaidh mi ga'm 
bheil e dlh air an am, gu dol dachaidh.'* ** l^i mi sin," orsa Mac-a- 
Bhsgaicb. Nuair a dh' f halbh an toathanach thon na banais, chaidh 
Mac-a-Bhsgaich 's choir e na daimh a stigh do'n f hang, a 's ghabh e 
sgian 's thog e na shilean asta, a's choir e naphbc na sUilean, 's noair 
a thainig an oidhche, choir Mac-a-Bhsgaich an dìoUaid air an each, 
's chaidh e go tigh na bainnse a dh' iarraidh a mhaighistear, a's rainig 
e tigh na bainnse, 's chaidh e a stigh do'n choideachd 's shoidh e, gas 
an robh a dlii air.dà-oair-dheog. A's an sin, thbisich e air tilgeadh 
shil diùmh air a bhodacb, aig ceann gach tacan, a 's ma dheireadh 
thog am bodach an aire dh' a; a's thobhairt e ris, " Go-d^ a tha tho 
a deanamh ?" 's thobhairt Mac-a-Kiisgaich. " Tha mi a tilgeadh siiil 
daimh an taobh a tha tho, than a tha e dlU air an dà-oair-dheog a 
nis," a 's thubhairt am bodach. ** An saoil thu f hein gon deachaidh tbo 
athairtnan sUilean as na daimh t" a's thabhairt Mac-a-Biusgaich. 
*' Cha'n ann ga shaoilsinn idir a tha mi, Tha mi cinnteach as,"dh' iarr 
tho fein orm mi a thilgciidh soil daimh an taobh a bbitheadh to, a 
noair a bhithidh a dlii air an dà-oair-dheag, 's d^-mar a b' arrainn mi 
sin a dheanamh, mar tugainn na sòilean as na daimh," a 's thobhairt 
an toathanach. " Na h-oire a 's na h-oraindean ort a bhallaich," a's 
thoirt Mac-a-Biisgaich, na h-oire 's na h-oraindean ort f heih a bhod- 
aich, a bheil tho a gabhail aireachas, ga'n d'iarr tho orm a dheanamh? 
** Cha'n eil, cha'n 'eil," thoirt am bodach, 's chaidh iad dachaidh 
comhla, 's cha robh toile ma dheibhinn an oidhche sin. 

A's aig ceann latha na dbk na dheigh sin, dh'iarr a mhaighistear 
air Mac-a-Bhsgaich e a dhol an àirt thon na cath-chliathair mhal- 
laich 'sea dheanamh stair chasa-caorach. " Ni mi sin," orsa Mac-a- 
Bhsgaich, 's dh' fhalbh e, a 's choir e nacaoirich a stigh do'n f hang a's 
ghearr e na casan diobh, a 'S rinn e an stair le cas'n nan caorach, 
a *s chaidh e air ais far an robh a mhaighistear, 's thobhairt a mhaigh- 
istear ris. "An do rinn tho siodi^" 'S thubhairt Mac-a-Bhsgaich," Binn, 
faodaidh to fein dol go fhaicinn." 'S chaidh am maighistear a dh'fhaic- 
inn an stair chasarcaorach a rinn Mac-a-BUsgaich, a 's a noair a 
rainig e, 's a chonnaic e casan nan caorach ann 'san stair, chaidh e air a 


bhreasadh 's thubhairt e, " Na thuirc 's na thuraindean ort a bhallaich, 
gu-d^ a thug ort na casan a ghearradb fkrr nan caoraeh?*' A's thubh- 
airt Mac-a-Rhsgaich. "Nach d' iarr thu fein orm stair chasa-caor- 
ach a dheanamh, 's cia-d^ mar a dheanainn stair chasa chaorach 
margearrainn na casan flirr nan caoirich; feuch am bheil thu a gabh- 
aill an aireachas gun d' iarr thu orm a dheanamh, a bbodaich?*' 
'* Cha'n eil;cha'n eil ■' thubhairt a mhaighistear. " Cia-de a tha agam 
ri dheanamh a rithisd," thuirt Mac-a-Biisgaich. ** Tha," orsa a' maigh- 
istear, **na h-eich 's an stàpull a ghlanadh, a 's a nigheadh an da chuid a 
mach, agns a stigh." A's dh'fhalbh Mac-a-Riisgaich, 's ghlan e a 
mach an stkpally's nigh e na balladhan air an taobh a mach, a 's nigh 
e an stàpull air an taobh a stigh; nigh e na h-eich, a 's mharbh e iad, 's 
thug e an taobh a stigh ast*, 's nigh e an taobh a stigh aca. 'S chaidh 
e far an robh a mhaighistear, 's dh' fharraid e cia-d^ a bha aige ri a 
dheanamh a rithisd, *s thubhairt a mhaighistear ris e'a chuir nan each 
'nan uime ann sa chrann, 's ethobhairt tacain air an treabhadh. Thubh- 
airt Mac-a-Biisgaicli, " Oha f hreagairna h-eich mi." " Cia-d^ a dh' 
airich iad ?" orsa a mhaighistear. " Cha choisich iad air mo shon/' 
orsaMac-a-Rhsgaich. " Falbh 's feuch iad," thuirt a mhaighistear.' A's 
dh' fhalbh Mac-a-Rti8gaich,*far an robh na h-eich 's chuir e crioman 
do h-aon diubh na bh'eul, 's chaidh e air ais far an robh a mhaighis- 
tear, 's thubhairt e, " Cha'n 'eil ach droch bhias orra." ^ Cia-d^ a tha 
thu agràdh ?" thuirt a mhaighistear. . Chaidh am maighistear fiir an 
robh na h-eich, 's dra* chunna e iad a *s an taobh a stigh air a thoirt 
asta, 's iad nighte glante thubhairt e, " Cia-d^ is ciall do so ?" . ** Tha," 
orsa Mac-a-RUsgaich, ** gu'n'd'iarr thu fhein orm, an da chuidj na h- 
eich a 's ah stàpull a ghlànadh agus an nigheadh an da' chuid a mach 
agus a stigh, 's rinn mi sin." " A bheil thu a gabhail an aireachais ?" 
thubhairt Mac-a-RUsgaich. '* B' fhearr team nach fhaca mi riamh thu," 
thubhairt am maighistear. <'Ma-ta," orsa Mac-a-Rhsgaich, '*feumaidh 
tu trituarasdail athobhairt domhsa; air neo theid iall do d* chaicionn 
a thoirt chhl do chinn, sios gu do shàil."> Thubhairt an tuathanach 
doirbh, gu'm fhearr leis iall a bhi air thobhairt as a chraicionn bho 
chhl a chinn gu shàil, na an t-airgiod thairt do thmsdar coltach ri 
Mao-a-Rhsgaich. Agus do r^ir an lagh, chaidh an tuathanach doirbh 
a cheangal a *s iall leathan a thoirt chiil a chinn sios a dhruim 's 
ghlaoidh e gu'm fhearr leis an t-airgiod fhein a thoirt seachad, na an 
iall a ghearradh na b' fhaide, 's phaigh e an t-airgiod, 's b' eiginnd'a a 
bhith greis foigh na lighichean, a's cha robh e na dhuine doirbh 

* Dra or tra is = when; 


Na dheigh sin, chaidh Mac-a-Kasgaich a chnir gn bhith na ghOle 
aig famhair, a bha dona ri a sheirbheisich. 

Rainig Mac-a-Rhsgaich am famhair 's thubhairt e, " Tha do ghille 
air tighinn." Tbubbairt am famhair, ** Ma s gille dhomhsa thu, feurn- 
aidh tn comh obair a churoail riumi, air neo bristidh mi do chnaimhean 
cho min ri pronnan/' Thuirt Mac-a-Rti8gaich, '* Gu-d^ ma dh* fhaira- 
lichis mi ort?" " Ma dh' fhairslichis/' thuirt am famhair, *' gheibh thu 
do dhuais da r^ir." " De a tha sinn a dol a dheanamh ma ta y orsa 
Mac-a-RÙ8gaich. " Thà," orsa am famhair, ** theid sinn a thobhairt 
dachaidh connaidh.'* 'S dh' f halbh iad 's rainig iad a choille, a 's thbis- 
ich am famhair air trusadh na h-uile bnn bu ghairbhe na cheile, 's 
thbisich Mac-a-Rhsgaich air na th-uile bharr bu chaoile na cheile a 
throsadh. Sheall am famhair air 's thubhairt e, '^ Ciod a tha thu a 
deanamh mar sin ?*' 's thubhairt Mac-a-Rhsgaich, ** Tha mise a los 
gun toir sinn a' choille uile leinn seach a bhith a fkgail pairt dl gun 
fheum 'nar deigh." Thuirt am famhair, <* Tha sinn gìè f hada aig an 
obair so, bheir sinn dachaidh na h-eallachan so, ach gheibh sinn obair 
eile a rithisd.** 

'Se an ath obair gus an deachaidh iad dol a bhuain saidhe, a 's dh* 
iarr am famhair air Mac-a-Rhsgaich, esan a dhol air thoiseach. Gheur- 
aich Mac-a-RUsgaich an speal agus thbisich e *s chaidh e man chnairt 
ghoirid air an taobh a stigh, a 's bha aig an fhamhair ri dol cuairt a 
b* fhaide air an taobh a mach deth, " Gu-d^ a tha a deanamh mar 
sin?" thubhairt am famhair, <<Thà," thuirt Mac-a-Riisgaich, *'mise a 
los gum buain sinn a phàirìc a dh-aon spaogh, an hite a bhith a till- 
eadh air ar n-ais, na h uile uair a gheuraich ameaid an speal, a 'scIih 
bhi tiom chaillte idiragainn." Chunnaicam famhair gu*m bitheadh an 
spaogh aigsan mbran na b' fhaide nabhiodh spaogh Mhic-a-Riiagùch, 
's thuirt e. " Tha sinne gìè fhada aig an obair so." Theid sinn a 
dh-ionnsaidh obair eile, theid sinn as buailidh sinn an t-arbhar. 'S 
dh' f halbh iad a dh' ionnsaidh bualadh anarbhair, fhuair iad na snis- 
teachan, thoislch iad air obair, 's dra a bhuaileadh am famhair an 
sguaib, bheireadh e urra leum an aird thair an spàrr, 's tra bhuail- 
eadh Mac-a-Rhsgaich an sguab, laidheadh i s)os air an uriar bhuaJaidh, 
*s theireadh Mac-a>Riisgaich ris an fhamhair, '* Cha'n 'eil thusa ga 
leath bhualadh, nach toir thu urra crhban mar a tha mise a dean- 
amh." Ach mar bulkidireadh a bhuaileadh am famhair, 'sann a b' airde 
a leumadh an sguab, 's bha Mac-a-Rusgaich a' gàiriachdaich air, s 
thubhairt am famhair. " Tha sinn g\4 fhad aig an obair so, fbnch- 
aidh mi air doigh eile thu. Theid sinn 's feuchaidh sinn, cò againn 
is làidìrich a thilgeas cloch an aoddan creige, a tha air taobh thai! an 
eas." «Thamitoileach,'*or8aMac-ap-Ro8gaich. 'Sdh'fhalbham&mhair 



's thrus e na dachan bu chruaidh a V arrainn d'a fhaotuinn, a 's chaidh 
Mac-a-Rosgaich *s fhuair e crèadh, 's rothail e na bhtiill bbeaga 
chruinn' e, agus chaidh iad a dh* ionnsaidh taobh an eas. Thilg am 
famhair clach an aodann na craige, 's chaidh a' chloich na criomagan, 
's thtiirt e ri Mac-a-Rhsgaich, ** Dean sin a bhallaich." Thilg Mac-a- 
Rtisgaich dudan do an chrèadh, agus stic e ri aodan na craige, a 's 
thnbhairt e ris an fhamhair, " Dean siod a bhodaich/' 'S thilgeadh am 
famhair cho làidir is a b'urrainn e ; ach mar bu mhòmh' a chnireadh am 
famhair do neart leis a' chloich a thilgeadh e, 'sann a bu mheanbhadh 
abhriseadh iad, 's ghàireadh Mac-a-Riisgaich,'s thilgeadh e ball beag 
eile do an chrèadh 's theireadh e, ** Cha'n 'eil thu 'ga leath thilgeadh, 
nach toir thu air a' chloich sticeadh ann sa' chraige mar a tha mise a 
deanamh." Agus thubhairt am famhair, " Tha sinn g\4 f hada aig an 
obair so, theid sinn a 's gabhaidh sinn air dinneir, 's an sin, feuchaidh 
sinn, CO againn is f hearr a thilgeas a' chloich neart." ** Tha mi toil- 
each," orsa Mac-a-Riisgaich, 's chaidh iad dachaidh. Thòisich iad air 
an dinneir, ais thubhairt am famhair ri Mac-a-Rtisgaich, " Mar ith 
thu do'n aran 's do'n chaise nibhir is a dh' ithis mise theid iall thoirt 
as do chraicionn bho chùl do chinn, gu do shki." ** Dean seachd 
dheth," orsa Mac-a-Rhsgaich, " air chumha 's gu'n teid seachd iallan 
a thoirt as a chraicionn agudsa, bho chùl do chinn gu d' shail, mar 
ith thu uibhir a 's a dh' itheas mise." ** Feuch riut* ma ta," orsa 'm 
famhair. '* Stad ma ta gus am faigh mise deoch," thuirt Mac-a-Rusg- 
aich, 's«haidh e a mach a dh' f baotainn deoch, agus fhuair e balg leath- 
raich, 's chuir e am bàlg eadar a l^ine 's a chraicinn, 's chaidh e a 
stigh far an robh am famhair, 's thuirt e ris an fhamhair, ** Feuch riut 
a nise." Thòisich an dithis air itheadh an arain 's a chkise. Agus bha 
Mac-a-Riisgaich a cuir an arain *s a chaise a stigh ann sa' bhàlg a bh' 
aige a stigh fo alpine; ach ma dheireadh thuirt am famhair. "Is 
fearr sgur na sgàine." " Is fhearr sgkine fhein na biadh math fhkg- 
ail," orsa Mac-a-Rlisgaich. " Sguiridh mise," orsa am famhair. 
*'' Theid na seachd iallan thoirt chlil do chinn gu do shàil," orsa 
Mac-a-Rusgaich. ''Feuchaidh mi fhatbast thu," orsa am famhair. 
'* Tha do dhk roghuinn agad," orsa Mac-a-Riisgaich. *^ Fhuair am 
famhair gruth 's cè, 's lion e cuman d'a fhein, 's curaan eile do Mhac- 
a-Ritsgaich." " Feuchamaid cb againn is fhearradh an nise^^orsa am 
famhair. " Cha'n fhada gus am faicir sin," orsa Mac-a-Riisgaich . 
** Feuchamid cò againn is luaith a dh' bias na tha ann 'sa chuman.'' 
A 's dh'òl Mac-a-Rlisgaich a dhaoithnet aige, *s chuir e a chuid eile 
ann 'sa bhalg, 's bha e uUamh air thoiseach air an fhamhair, 's thuirt 

* Try thyself now. f Until satisfied. 


e ris an fhamhair, " Tha thu air deireadh. "Sheall am famhair air *s 
thuirt e. " Is fearradh sgur na sgaineadh." " Is feàrrsgàineadhfhein 
na biadh math fhàgàil," orsa Mac-a-Riisgaich. . *i Theid sinn a mach 
a dh* feuchaiun cb againn is faide a thUgeas a chlach neart mn'n dean 
sinn tuile," orsa am famhair. ■ ** Tha mi ioileach,'* orsa Mac-a-Rùs- 
gaich. A 's chaidh iad am mach far an robh a chloich ;- ach bha am 
famhair cho Ian 's nach b' nrrainn d'a cfomadb gu a togail, '^Tog a 
chloich sin a^s tilg i," orsa am famhair. " Tha onair toisèach tòiseach 
ga bhith agad fhèin/' orsa Mac-a-Rùsgaich. • Dh' fheach am famhair 
ris a' chloicbi a thogail, ach cha b' urrainn da cromadh/dh'. fh'euchiMac- 
a-Rhsgaich ri cromadh 's thuirt è,.''Cha bhì a lèithid so do bhalg a 
comail bacadh -ormsa." 'S tharrainn e sgian a tniaill a bha ri thaobh 
's chuir e'n sgian sa' bhalg a bha air a bheulobh, a 's leig e a mach 
na bha ann-sa' bhalg agas thuirt e, ■* Tha tuile rum a' mach na tha 
stigh," agus thog e a chloich 's thilg e i, 's thuirt e ris an fhamhair, 
"Dean sin." <'Nach tilg thu na's faide na sin i?" orsa am famhair. 
** Cha do thilg thusa cho fada ri sin f hein i," orsa Mac-a-Rhsgaich. 
" An nail an so do sgian," orsa am famhair. '■ Shin Mac-a-Rtisgaich 
an sgian aige do w fhamhair, ghabh am famhair an sgian, agus stope 
a stigh na bhrù i, a 's leig e am mach am biadh, 's thuit am famhair gu 
làr, 's ghàir Mac-a-Rusgaich air, agus fhuair am famhair bàs. 
Chaidh Mac-a-Rusgaich a stigh do thigh an fhamhair, 's fhuair e an t- 
or a 's an t-airgiod aige.' Bha e an sin beartach, 's dh' fhalbhe an sin 
dachaidh Ian thoilichte. > ■ John Dewar. : 

.GiLLE, the servant of. ■ Neumh, a holy man, a saint. ■ Mac, 
the son of. Rusoaich, the peeler, or a rough man, a.Tuffler. 

Oille Neumh is a name usually translated in English, Niyen. 

The whole might be rendered " The story of Saint's servant, 
Mac' Skinner." • . . .■ 

Mr. Dewar writes, — " Tradition says that Gille Neumh Mac 
Rusgaich disguised himself in woman's apparel, went to lona, 
passed for a nun, and' caused some of the sisters to become frail 
sisters^. There is a long tale about him and his sister. ' She 
would get into 8ei*vice to attend' ladies, and Mac-a-Rusgaich 
would disguise himself in his sister's clothes — but that part of the 
sgeulachd was so unbecoming that 1 did not write it. I heard 
the part which I did, write as early as 1810, from an old man of 
the name of Alexander Dewar in Arrochar." 

The story of MacRuslaig, as it is sometimes called, is very 
widely spread, and, as Dewar says, part of it is *' unbecoming." 


I believe it is printed in Gaelic, but I have been nnable hitherto 
to see the book. — J. F: C. 

A very similar story is known in Sutherland. 
2. The Erse version of Jack the Giant Killer. 
" The opening of the tale, and the deaths of Cormoran and 
Blanderbore, as told in our children's books, are unknown here ; 
and the whole thing, as found in Sutherland, more nearly resem- 
bles the Scandinavian story' of the Giant and the Herd Boy, given 
in Thorpe's Yule-tide stories: . (Bohn's Lib. edit.) I cannot get 
it in Gaelic (that is to say, written down in Gaelic) ; but am told 
that it happened. in this wise : — ■ . ^ . . 

*' The giant appeared to the little herd boy and threatened to 
kill him ; but the boy gave him to understand that he had better 
not try, as he was very strong, though small ; and that he was 
an enchanter, and that if the giant ate him he would make him 
very ill. • • 

" The giant did not quite believe him ; and taking up a stone, 
he ground it to powder, by closing his hand over it, and bid the 
herd .do the same, or he would make short work with him. 

" The lad had a lump of curds in his pocket, which he contnved 
to roll in the dust till it looked like a stone, then pressing it be- 
tween his fingers, a stream of whey run through them, and the 
giant could not do that. 

• " The next trial was with the heavy hammer ; the giant threw 
to a great distance, telling the would-be enchanter that unless he 
could match that he would knock his brains out. - 
f : ", * I suppose,'- said the boy, ' you have no regard for the ham- 
mer, and don't care whether you ever see it again or not ?* 
. • ." t What do you mean ? '. growled the giant. ^ 

" * I mean, that if I take up the hammer, it goes out of sight 
in the twinkling of an eye, and into the sea.' 

. " *I beg you will let the hammer alone, then, for it was my 
great-grandlather's ' hammer,' replied the giant; and they were 
both well pleased with the bargain. • * > 

f • " Then followed the hasty-pudding feat, called brose or brochan 
here ; and the experiment with the black pudding which the boy 
had in his jacket, and which ran blood when he pierced it. The 
giant, trying . to imitate him, . plunged a knife into himself and 
died, as may be seen in all carefully compiled books for the use of 
young persons." — C. D. 


From Angus Campbell, quarryman, Knockderry, Boseneath. 

A T some time there was a king and a queen, and 
■^-^ they had one son ; but the queen died, and the 
king married another wife. The name of the son that 
the first queen had, was Iain Direach. He was a 
handsome lad ; he was a hunter, and there was no 
bird at which he would cast his arrow, that he would 
not fell ; and he would kill the deer and the roes at a 
great distance from him ; there was no day that he 
would go out with his bow and his quiver, that he 
would not bring venison home. 

He was one day in the hunting hill hunting, and 
he got no venison* at all ; but there came a blue 
falcon past him, and he let an arrow at her, but he did 
but drive a feather from her wing. He raised the 
feather and he put it into his hunting bag, and he 
took it home ; and when he came home his muime 
said to him, "Where is thy game to-day?" and he 
put his hand into the hunting bag, and he took out 
the feather and he gave it to her. And his muime 
took the feather in her hand, and she said, " I am 
setting it as crosses, and as spells, and as the decay of 
the year on thee ; that thou be not without* a pool in 

* The Gaelic word means rather game than venison. 


thy shoe, and that thou be wet, cold, and soiled, until 
thou gettest for me the bird from which that feather 

And he said to his muime, " I am setting it as 
crosses and as apells, and as the decay of the year on 
thee ; that thou be standing with the one foot on the 
great house, and the other foot on the castle ; and that 
thy fÌEice be to the tempest whatever wind blows, until 
I return back." 

And Maclain Direach went away as fast as he 
could to seek the bird from which the feather came, 
and his muime was standing with the one foot on the 
castle, and the other on the great house, till he should 
come b^k ; and her front was to the face of the tem- 
pest, however long he might be without coming. 

Maclain Direach was gone, travelling the waste to 
see if he could see the falcon, but the falcon he could 
not see ; and much less than that, he could not get 
her ; and he was going by himself through the waste, 
and it was coming near to the night. The little flut- 
tering birds were going from the bush tops, from tuft 
to tuft, and to the briar rootsj going to rest ; and 
though they were, he was not going there, till the 
night came blind and dark ; and he went and crouched 
at the root of a briar ; and who came the way but an 
GiLLE Maibtean, the fox; and he said to him, "Thou'rt 
down in the mouth a Mhic Iain Direach ; thou camest 
on a bad night ; I have myself but one wether's 
trotter and a sheep's cheek, but needs must do with it" 

They kindled a fire, and they roasted flesh, and 
they ate the wether's trotter and the sheep's cheek \ 
and in the morning GiUe Mairtean said to the king's 
son, " Oh son of Iain Direach, the falcon thou seekest 
is by the great giant of the Five Heads, and the Five 
Humps, and the Five Throttles, and I will shew thee 


where his house is;' and it is my advice to thee to; go' 
to be as ; his . servant, > and that : thou be. nimble ^ and 
ready to do each thing that is asked of thee, and each 
thing that " is trusted thee ; and' be very good ■ to ^ his 
birds, audit well may be that he wiU, trust thee with- 
the falcon to feed ; : and when' thou • gettest the^ falcon* 
to feed be right good to her, till thou gettest a chance; 
at the time when the . giant is not at home .run away, 
with her, but take care that so much as one feather 
of her does not touch any one thing that is within the 
house, or if. it touches, it will not go (well) with ithee."' 

Maclain Direach said " That he would take .' care 
of that ;". and he went to the giant's house ;• he ar- 
rived, he struck at the door. ; i i ■ ; ; 

The giant shouted, ".Who is there r* . 

"It is me,'' said Maclain Direach ; " one coming to 
see if thou hast need of a lad." . • « > . ' . . 

" What work canst thou do ?" said the giant. - 

" It is (this)," said Maclain Direach, "I can feed 
birds and swine, and feed and milk a cow, or goats or 
sheep." ••• '- ? ■.?..., . • , .• ; {iJ ^ -I 

" It is the like of thee that I want," . said the 
giant. . . . . , . . , • . J ! • •! 

The giant came out and he settled wages on Mac- 
Iain Direach ; and he was. taking right good care of 
everything that the giant had, ' and he was very kind 
to the hens and to the 'ducks ; ' and the- giant : took 
notice. how well he was . doing ; and he. said .that his 
table was so good since Maclain Direach had come, by 
what ' it was before ; • that . he had - rather one hen of 
those which he got now, than two of those he used :to 
get before. : ** My lad is so good that I begin to think 
I may trust him the falcon to feed ;". and the • giant 
gave the falcon to Maclain Direach to feed,* and he 
took exceeding care of the falcon ; and when the giant 


saw how well Maclain Direach was taking care of the 
falcon, he thought that he .iiiight> trust h^r to him- when 
he was. (away)- from the house ; and the giant gave him 
the falcon to keep, and he was taking exceeding care 
of the falcon. i . r ^ . 

The giant thought each, thing was going right, and 
he went fi?om the house one day ; and. Maclain Direach 
thought that was the time to run away with the falcon, 
and he seized the falcon, to go away with her ;\ and 
when he opened the door and the falcon saw the light, 
she spread her wings to spring, and the point of one 
of the feathers: of one of her wings touched one of the 
posts of the door, . and the door post let out a screech. 
The. giant came home runniiig, » and he. caught Maclain 
Direach, and he took the falcon • from him ; and he 
said to him, " I would not give thee my falcon, unless 
thou shouldst get for 'me the White Glave of Light 
that .the Big .Women. of Dhiurradh have ;" and the 
giant sent Maclain away. ... •-'. . < . <. 

Maclain Direach went. out again and through the 
wastie, and' the Gille Mairtean met with him, and he 
said — •—'•.. ' "■ ' • . • : • '■ " \ • ■ '■' • 

" Thou art down in the mouth* Maclain Direach ; 
thou' didst. not, and thou wilt not do. as I tell thee ; 
bad is the, night on which thou hast, come ; I have but 
one wether!s trotter and one sheep's cheek, but needs 
must do with. that". / ; ' . ■ • > ; 

• ., They, roused a fire, and they, made' ready the 
wether's trotter' and. the sheep's cheek, and they took 
their meat and sleep ; and on the next * day the Gille 
Mairtean said, " We will go to the side of the ocean.'' ' 

They went and they reached the side of the ocean, 
and the Gille Mairtean said, 

" I will grow into a boat, and go thou on board of 
.* Dewar translates the phrase, " A down mouth on thee." 


her, and I will take thee over to Dhiurradli ; and go 
to the seven great women of Dhurrah and ask ser- 
vice, that thou be a servant with them ; and when 
they ask thee what thou canst do, say to. them that 
thou art good at brightening iron and steel, gold and- 
silver, and that thou canst make them bright, clear, 
and shiny; and take exceeding care that thou dost 
each thing right, till they trust thee the White Glave 
of light; and when thou gettest a chance run away 
with it, but take care that the sheath does not touch 
a thing on the inner side of the house, or it will make 
a screech, and thy matter will not go with thee."* 

The Gille Mairtean grew into a boat, and Maclain 
Direach went on board of her, and he came on shore 
at creagan nan deargan,t on the northern side of 
Dhiurradh, and Maclain Direach leaped on shore, and 
he went to take service with the Seven Big Women 
of Dhiurradh. He reached, and he struck at the door; 
the Seven Big Women came out, and they asked what 
he was seeking. He said, " That he came to see if they 
had need of a lad ;" and they asked him " What he 
could do Ì " He said, " He could brighten, or make 
clear, white and shiny, gold and silver, or iron or steeL" 
They said, " We have need of thy like ;" and set 
wages on him. And he was right diligent for six 
weeks, and put everything in exceeding order ; and 
the Big Women noticed it ; and they kept saying to 
each other, " This is the best lad we have ever had; we 
may trust him the White Glave of light" 

They gave him the White Glave of Light to keep 
in order; and he was taking exceeding care of the 
White Glave of Light, till one day that the Big Women 

• This may be compared with the theft of the Bword in No. I. 
f Deakoan, a fish called a bream (Dewar), from Dsako, red. 
Perhaps a flea, for there were mysti^^al fleas in Jura. — J. F. G. 


were not at the house, he thought that was the time 
for him to run away with the White Glave of Light 
He put it into the sheath, and he raised it on his 
shoulder ; but when he was going out at the door the 
point of the sheath touched the lintel, and the lintel 
made a screech ; and the Big Women ran home, and 
took the sword from him ; and they said to him, " We 
would not give thee our White Glave of Light, unless 
thou shouldst get for us the Yellow (Bay) Filly of the 
King of Eirinn." 

Maclain Direach went to the side of the ocean, 
and the Gille Mairtean met him, and he said to him, 
"Thou'rt down in the mouth, Maclain Direach ; thou 
didst not, and thou wilt not do as I ask thee ; I have 
to-night but one wether's trotter and one sheep's cheek, 
but needs must do with it." 

They kindled a fire, and they roasted flesh, and 
they were satisfied On the next day the Gille Mair- 
tean said to Maclain Direach, " I will grow into a 
barque, and go thou on board of her, and I will go to 
"RirÌTìTì with thee ; and when we reach Eirinn go thou 
to the house of the king, and ask service to be a stable 
lad with him ; and when thou gettest that, be nimble 
and ready to do each thing that is to be done, and 
keep the horses and the harness in right good order, 
till the king trusts the Yellow (Bay) Filly to thee ; and 
when thou gettest a chance run away with her ; but 
take care when thou art taking her out that no bit of 
her touches anything that is on the inner side of the 
gate, except the soles of her feet ; or else thy matter 
will not prosper with thee." 

And then the Gille Mairtean put himself into the 
form of a barque, Maclain Direach went on board, 
and the barque sailed with him to Eirinn. When 
they reached the shore of Eirinn, Maclain Dir- 


each leaped on land, and he went to the house of 
the king ; and when' he reached the , gate, the gate- 
keeper asked where he .was going ; and he said " That 
he wad.' going to see. if the king had need of a stable 
lad f! arid the gate-keeper let him past, and he reached 
the king's house ; he struck at the door and the king 
came out ; and the king said, "What art thou seek- 
ing here r' ■ ; , - 
» .. ; Said he, /* With your leave, I came to see if you 
had need of a stable lad." ' . 
Hie king asked, " What canst thou do 1" 
Said he, !* I : can clean and feed the horses, and 
clean the silver work, and the steel work, and make 
them shiny." • 

The king. settled wages on him, and he went to the 
stable ; and he put each thing in good order ; he took 
good care of the horses, he; fed them well, and he kept 
them clean, • and their skin was looking sliom sleek ; 
and the silver work and the steel work shiny to look 
at ; and the king never saw them so well in order be- 
fore. : And he said, f'This iathe best stable lad I have 
ever had, I may trust the Yellow (Bay) Filly to 
him." • . . . . 

• The king gave the Yellow (Bay) Filly to Maclain 
Direach to . keep ; and. Maclain' Direach took very 
great care of the Yellow (Bay) Filly ; and he. kept her 
clean, till her. skin i was so sleek . and slippery, and she 
so swift, that she would leave. the: one wind and catch 
the other. The kiiig never saw her so good. 

. The king went one. day to the = hunting hill, . and 
Maclain Direach . thought that was • the ; time to run 
away» with' the Yellow (Bay) Filly.; .and he. set. her in 
what belonged to her, with a .bridle. and a saddle ; ' and 
when' he took her out of the stable,- he was taking her 
through- the gate,- she gave' a switch 'sguaisìE' with her 


tail, and the point of her tail touched the post of the 
gate, and it let out a screech. / 

' :The king came running, and he took the. filly from 
Maclain Direach ; and he said to him,. " I .wovud . not 
give thee the Yellow (Bay) Filly, unless thou shouldst 
get for me the daughter of the king of the Frainge.* ; 
! And Maclain Direach needs must go ; and when he 
was within a little of the side of the- sea the Gille 
Mairtean met him; and he said to him, "Thou art 
down in the mouth, oh son of Iain Direach ; thou 
didst not, and thou wilt not do as I ask thee; we 
must now go to France. I will make myself a ship, 
and go thou on board, and I will not be long till I 
take thee to France." 

The Gille Mairtean put himself in the shape of a 
ship, and Maclain Direach went on board of her, and 
the Gille Mairtean sailed to France with him, and he 
ran himself on high up the face of a rock, on dry 
land ; and he said to Maclain Direach " to go up to the 
king's house and to ask help, and to say that his skip- 
per had been lost, and his ship thrown on shore." 

Maclain Direach went to the king's house, and he 
struck at the door ; one came out to see who was 
there ; he told his tale and he was taken into the 
fort The king asked him whence he was, and what 
he was doing here. . 

. He told them the tale of misery; "that a great 
storm had come on him, and the skipper he had was 
lost;, and the. ship he had thrown on dry land, and 
she was there, driven up on the face of a rock by the 
waves, and that he did not know how he should get 
her out." 

The king and the queen, and the family together, 

* France is always meant by tliis word now — The Frang, 
AN Fhbaing. 



went to the shore to see the ship : and when they 
were looking at the ship, exceeding sweet music hegan 
on board j and the King of France's daughter went on 
board to see the musical instrument, together with 
Maclain Direach ; and when they were in one cham- 
ber, the music would be in another chamber ; but at 
last they heard the music on the upper deck of the 
ship, and they went above on the upper deck of the 
ship, and (so) it was that the ship was out on the 
ocean, and out of sight of land. 

And the King of France's daughter said, " Bad is 
the trick thou hast done to me. Where art thou for 
going with me?" 

" I am," said Maclain Direach, " going with thee 
to Eirinn, to give thee as a wife to the King of Eiriim, 
so that I may get from him his Yellow (Bay) Filly, to 
give her to the Big Women of Dhiurrath, that I may 
get from them their White Glave of light, to give it 
to the Great Giant of the Five Heads, and Five Humps, 
and Five Throttles, that I may get from him his Blue 
Falcon, to take her home to my muime, that I may be 
free from my crosses, and from my spells, and from 
the bad diseases of the year." 

And the King of France's daughter said, " I had 
rather be as a wife to thyself." 

And when they came to shore in Eirinn, the Gille 
Mairtean put himself in the shape of a fine woman, and 
he said to Maclain Direach, " Leave thou the King of 
France's daughter here till we return, and I will go 
with thee to the King of Eirinn ; I will give him 
enough of a wife." 

Maclain Direach went with the Gille Mairtean in 
the form of a fine maiden, with his hand in the oxter 
of Maclain Direach. When the King of Eirinn saw 
them coming he came to meet them ; he took out the 


Yellow (Bay) Filly and a golden saddle on her back, 
and a silver bridle in her head. 

Maclain Direach went with the filly where the 
King of France's daughter was. The King of Eirinn 
was right well pleased with the young wife he had got; 
. . but little did the King of Eirinn know that he 
had got Gille Mairtean ; and they had not long been 
gone to rest, when the Gille Mairtean sprung on the 
king, and he did not leave a morsel of fiesh between 
the back of his neck and his haunch that he did not 
take off him. And the Gille Mairtean left the King 
of Eirinn a pitifiil wounded cripple ; and he went run- 
ning where Maclain Direach was, and the King of 
France's daughter, and the Yellow (Bay) Filly. 

Said the Gille Mairtean, *^ I will go into the form 
of a ship, and go you on board of her, and I will take 
you to Diurrath ; he grew into the form of a ship ; 
and Maclain Direach put in the Yellow (Bay) FiUy 
first, and he himself and the King of France's daughter 
went in after her ; and the Gille Mairtean sailed with 
them to Diurrath, and they went on shore at Creagan 
nan deargan, at cilla-mhoire, at the northern end of 
Diurrath ; and when they went on shore, the Gille 
Mairtean said, " Leave thou the Yellow (Bay) Filly 
here, and the king's daughter, tiU thou i-etum ; and I 
will go in the form of a filly, and I will go with thee 
to the Big Women of Diurrath, and I will give them 
enough of filly-ing." 

The Gille Mairtean went into the form of a filly, 
Maclain Direach put the golden saddle on his back, 
and the silver bridle in his head, and he went to the 
Seven Big Women of Diurrath with him. When the 
Seven Big Women saw him coming, they came to meet 
him with the White Glave of Light, and they gave it 
to him. Maclain Direach took the golden saddle off 

VOL. XL z 


the back of the Gille Mairtean, and tìie silver bridle 
out of his head, and he left him with them : and he 
went away himself with the White Glave of light, 
and he went where he left the King of France's 
daughter, and the YeUow Bay Filly which he got from 
the King of Eirinn ; and the Big Women of Diurrath 
thought that it was the Yellow Bay Filly of the King 
of Eirinn that they had got, and they were in great 
haste to ride. They put a saddle on her back, and 
they bridled her head, and one of them went up on 
her back to ride her, another went up at the back of 
that one, and another one at the back of that one, and 
there was always room for another one there, till one 
after one, the Seven Big Women went up on the back 
of the Gille Mairtean, thinking that they had got the 
Yellow Bay FiUy.* 

One of them gave a blow of a rod to the Gille 
Mairtean ; and if she gave, he ran, and he raced back- 
wards and forwards with them through the mountain 
moors ; and at last he went bounding on high to the 
top of the MoNADH mountain of Duirrath, and he 
reached the top of the face of the great crag, that is 
there, and he moved his front to the crag, and he put 
his two fore feet to the front of the crag, and he threw 
his aftermost end on high, and he threw the Seven 
Big Women over the crag, and he went away laugh- 
ing ; and he reached where were Maclain Direach and 
the King of France's daughter, with the Yellow Bay 
FiUy, and the White Glave of Light. 

Said the Gille Mairtean, " I will put myself in the 
form of a boat, and go thyself and the daughter of the 
King of France on board, and take with you the Yellow 

* This incident is told of a baj water-horse in Sutherland. 
" The Seven Herds of Sollochie." 


Bay Filly and the White Glave of light, and I wiU 
take you to mahdand." 

The Gille Mairtean put himself in the shape of a 
boat ; Maclaui Direach put the White Glave of light 
and the Yellow Bay Filly on board, and he went him- 
self and the King of France's daughter, in on board 
after them ; and the GUle Mairtean went with them 
to the mainland. When they reached shore, the Gille 
Mairtean put himself into his own shape, and he said 
to Maclain Direach — 

" Leave thou the King of France's daughter, the 
Yellow Bay Filly from the King of FnTÌTìn^ and the 
White Glave of light there, and I will go into the 
shape of a White Glave of Light ; and take thou me 
to the giant and give thou me to him for the falcon, 
and I will give him enough of swords." 

The Gille Mairtean put himseK into the form of a 
sword, and Maclain Direach took him to the giant ; 
and when the giant saw him coming he put the blue 
falcon into a Muiblag,* and he gave it to Maclain 
Direach, and he went away with it to where he had 
left the King of France's daughter, the Yellow Bay 
Filly, and the White Glave of Light 

The giant went in with the Gille Mairtean in his 
hand, himself thinking that it was the White Glave of 
light of the Big Women of Diurrath that he had, and 
he began at Fionnsaibeach, fencing, and at sguaisbal, 
slashing with it ; but at last the Gille Mairtean bent 
himself, and he swept the five heads off the giant, and 
he went where Maclain Direach was, and he said to 
him, " Son of John the Upright, put the saddle of gold 
on the filly, and the silver bridle in her head, and go 

* A basket, shaped like an egg, witif a hole at the middle. 
(Dewar.) Sach baskets,' with hens in them, may be seen now-a- 
days.— J. F. C. 


thyself riding her, and take the Xing of France's 
daughter at thy back, and the White Glave of light 
with its back against thy nose ; or else if thou be not 
so, when thy muime sees thee, she has a glance that 
is so deadly that she will bewitch thee, and thou wilt 
fall a faggot of firewood ; but if the back of the sword 
is against thy nose, and its edge to her, when she tries 
to bewitch thee, she will fall down herself as a faggot 
of sticks. 

Maclain Direach did as the Gille Mairtean asked 
him ; and when he came in sight of the house, and 
his muime looked at him with a deadly bewitching 
eye, she fell as a faggot of sticks, and Maclain Direach 
set fire to her, and then he was free from fear ; and he 
had got the Best Wife in Albainn ; and the Yellow Bay 
Filly was so swift that she could leave the one wind 
and she would catch the other wind, and the Blue 
Falcon would keep him in plenty of game, and the 
White Glave of light would keep off each foe ; and 
Maclain Direach was steadily, luckily off 

Said Maclain Direach to the Gille Mairtean, " Thou 
art welcome, thou Lad of March, to go through Iny 
ground, and to take any beast thou dost desire thyself 
to take with thee ; and I will give word to my ser- 
vants that they do not let an arrow at thee, and that 
they do not kill thee, nor any of thy race, whatever 
one of the flock thou takest with thee." 

Said the Gille Mairtean, " Keep thou thy herds to 
thyself ; there is many a one who has wethers and sheep 
as well as thou hast, and I will get plenty of flesh in 
another place without coming to put trouble on thee ; 
and the Fox gave a blessing to the son of Upright 
John, and he wentT away ; and the tale was spent 




Bha uaireiginn Righ agos Bannrigh ann, 's bha aca aona mhac, ach 
shiubhail a* Bhan-righ agus phòs an righ bean eile. B*è an t' ainm 
a bha air mac na ciad Bbannrigh Iain Direach. Bba è 'na ghille 
dreachmhor. Bha è 'na shealgair *s cha robh eun air an tilgeadh è a 
fihaighead nach leagadh e. Agus mharbhadh e na feidh 's na earb- 
aichean aig astar mòr uaidh. Cha robh latha a rachadh e a mach le 
bbogha *s a dhòrlach nach tugadh e dachaidh sithionn. 

Bha e aon latha ann 'sa bheinn sheilg aig sealg, 's cha d' fhnair e 
sithionn air bhith ach thainig seabhag ghorm seachad air, 's leig è 
saighead rithe, ach cha do rinn e ach aon iteag a chuir as a sgiath. 
Thog e an iteag, 's chuir è na bholg seilg i, 's thug e dachaidh i, 's a 
nuair a thainig e dachaidh, thubhairt a mhuime ris, '' C àite am 
bheil do shithionn an diugh? " *8 chuir esan a lamh a stigh na bholg 
seilg, 's thug 6 a mach an iteag, 's thug è d'i i. 

'S ghabh a mhuime an iteag 'na laimh, 's sheall i urra, *8 thubhairt 
i, " Tha mise a' cuir mar chrosaibh 's mar gheasaibh 's mar eusaibh na 
bliadhna ortsa, nach bi thu gun loba a' d' bhròig, a's gum bi thu gu 
fliucfa, fuar, salach, gus gu'm faigh thu dhomhsa, an eun as an d* 
thainig an iteag sin." 

S thubhairt esan ri a mhnime ; '' Tha mise a cuir mar chros 'n *s 
mar gheas*n a's mar eusan na bliadhna ortsa, gum bith thu a*d' seas- 
amh *B an dama cas agad air an tigh mhòr 's a chas eile air a Chaist- 
eal, agus gum bi t' aodann ri aghaidh nan siantaidhean, ga b'e gaoth 
a sh^ideas, gus gu'm pill mise air m' ais." 

'S dh' fhalbh Mac lain Dirich cho luath 'sa b' urrainn da, a dh' 
iarraidh an coin as an d' thainig an itea.^, 's bha 'mhuime, na seas- 
amh a's an dama cas aic' air a' chaisteal, a's a* chas eile aic' air an tigh 
mhòr, gus an tigeadh e air ais, agus, cuideachd, bha a h-aodann ri 
aghaidh nan sian, gab'e aird as an seideadh a ghaoth, gus an tigeadh 
esan air ais a riUiisd, cia air bith co fada is a bhitheadh e gu'n 

Bha Mac Iain Dirich air falbh a' siubhal nam f&sach, a sheall am 
faiceadh e an t-seabhaig, ach an t-seabhag cha b' urrainn d*a fhaic- 
inn, 's moran na bu lugha na sin cha b* urrainn da a faotuinn. A's 
bha e a' falbh leis fhein air feadh na f&saich 's e a' tighinn dliith air an 
oidhche, bha na h-eoin bheaga bhaidealach a' dol o bhàrr nam preas, 
o dhos gu dos, 's gu bun nan dris, a' dol gu tàmh, is gad bha cha 
robh esan a* dol ann, gus an d' thainig an oidhche dhàll dhorcha, a's 


chaidh e 's chrùbain è aig btin pris, s co a thainig an ratbad ach an gille 
màìrteiu, 's thubhairt e ris, " Beul-sios ort a mhic Iain Dirich, is olc an 
oidhcbe an d* tbainig thn; cba 'eil agam fhein an nochd ach aon spàg 
moìlt, 's aon leath-cheann canra, ach is ^igin a bhith a deanadh leis." 
Bheothaich iad gealbhan 's ròist iad feoil, 's dh' ith iad an spòig mnilt 's 
an leath-cheann caora, 's aig a' mhaduinn, thubhairt an gille-mairtein, 
ri mac an righ, ''A Mhic Iain Dirich, tha an t-seabhag a tha thn ag 
iarraidh aig famhair mòr nan cnig cinn, nan cnig mill 's na'n coig 
mnineal, 's leigidh mise fhaicinn doit far am bheil an tigh aige, agns 
's e mo chomhairle-sa dhnit thu a dhol gu a bhith mad' ghille aige, a*8 
thu a bhith gn easgaidh, ealamh a dheanamh gach ni a theid iarraidh 
ort, a's gach ni a theid earbaidh rint, 's bith ra mhath ris na h-eoin 
aige, 's math a dh-fhaoid t' gnn earb e rint an t-seabhag a bhiadh, 
's a nnair a gheibh thusa an t-seabhaig ri bhiadhadh, bi ra mhath 
rithe, gns gn 'm faigh thu fàth, an uair nach bi am famhair aig aù 
tigh, mith air falbh leatha, ach thoir an aire, nach bean nibhir is aon 
ite dh' 1 do ni air bith, do na tha air taobh a stigh an taighe, air neo 
ma bheanas cha teid leat." 

Thuirt Mac Iain Dirich gu'n thugadh e an fhaire air sin, a*s dh* 
fhalbh e a dh' ionnsaidh tigh an fbamhair. Bainig e, *s bhnail e aig an 

Ghlaodh am famhair, ** Co a tha ann an sm ? " '^ Tha mise," thnirt 
Mac Iain Dirich, ** fear a tha a' tighinn a sheall am bheil fenm agad 
air gille." 

*' Dè an obair as nrrainn duit a dheanamh?'' orsa am famhair. 

** ThV' orsa Mac Iain Dirich, ** is nrrainn domh eunlaidh 's mncan 
abhiadhadh, 's bb, na gabhair, na caoirich a bhiadhadh a 's a bleogh- 

** 'S e do leithid a tha a dhith orm," thuirt am famhair. 

Thainig am famhair a mach 's chnir e tuarasdal air Mac Iain 
Dirich. A 's bha e a' tobhairt aire ra mhath air gach ni a bha aig aa 
fhamhair, 's bha e ra mhath ris na oearcan 's ris na tonnagan, a 's thng 
am famhair an fhaire cho math is a bha e a deanamh, 's thubhairt e 
gn' m bn math a bhòrd fun a thainig Mac Iain Dirich seach mar a 
bha e aroimhe, gu 'm b' fhearr leis aona chearc, do na bha è a' faotainn 
an nise na dithis do na gheibheadh e roimhe, ^ Tha mo ghille co 
math, 's gum bheil dtiil agam gn'm faot mi earbadh ris an t-seabhag a 
bhiadhadh." A's thug am famhair an t-seabhag do Mhac Iain Dirich 
ri bhiadhadh, 'a thug e an fhaire shònraichte air an t-seabhag. 

'S a nuair a chunnaic am famhair cho math is a bha Mac Iain 
Dirich a' toirt aire air an t-seabhaig ; bha leis gu 'm faotadh e a h- 
earbadh ris a nuair a bhltheadh e fhein bho 'n tigh. S thug am fiuBh- 


air da an t-seabhag ri gleidh, 's bha Mac Iain Dirich a' tobhairt an 
fhaire shonraichte air an t-seabhaig. 

Bha Ida an fhamhair, gn 'n robh gach ni a* dol ga oeart Agns 
dh* fhalbh e o'n tigh aon latlia ; a 's smoaintich Mac Iain Dirich, gn 
'm b'e sin an t-am ga mith air falbh lets an t-seabhag, 'a bheir e air 
an t-seabhaig gn falbh leatha. A 's a nuair a bha e a' fosgladh an 
doruis, is a chonnaic an t-seabhag an solus, sgaoil i a sgiathan gu 
lenm, *s bhean barr h-aon do na itean, aig aon do na sgiathan aioe do 
aon do nrsainnean an doniis. *S leigan nrsainn sgreach as. Thainig 
amfamhairdachaidh 'namith, 's bheir e air Mac Iain Dirich, 's thng 
6 uaidh an t-seabhag, a 's thubhairt e ris, ^ Cha tagainnsa dhnit 
mo sheabhag, mar faighidh tn domh an claidheamh geal solnis a 
tha aig seachd mnathan mora Dhiorath," 's chair am famiiMr Mac 
Iain Dirich air falbh. 

Chaidh Mac Iain Dirich a rithisd troimhe an fhàsaich, 's ehoinnich 
an gille-màirtein air, 's thabhairt e ; " Beul sios ort a Mhic Iain 
Dirich, cha do rinn, 's cha dean tha mar a dh' iarras misidh ort, is 
olc an oidhche an d' thainig thu an nochd, cha 'n'ell agam ach aon 
spoig moilt, agofl aon leth-cheann caorach* is eiginn a bhith deanamh 

Bheothaich iad gealbhan, *s rinn iad deis an spkg muilte 's an 
leth-cheann caora, 's ghabh iad biadh *s chadal. Agus an ath latha^ 
thabhairt an gilie-màiitean, thdd sinn gn taobh a' chuain. 

Chaidh iad 's rainig iad taobh a chuain ; *& thairt an gille-mkirt- 
ean, '* Cinnidh mise ann a*m* bhkta, 's rach thasa air bòrt orra, 's bheir 
mi a nnll ga Diurath tha, 's rach a dh' ionnsaidh seachd mnathan 
mora Dhiarath, 's iarr seirbhis, ga tha a bhith nad' ghille aca, 's tra 
a dh' fharraidies iad d' iot, ga-d^ is orrainn dait a dheanamh, abair 
riathit, ga'm bheil tha math ahr glanadh iarnnn agas stìdlinn, or agus 
airgiod, agus ga 'n dean thu gu glan, soillear, deàrlach iad, a 's thoir 
an fhaire shònraiehte gu *n dean thu gach ni gu ceart, gus gu 'n 
earb iad an claidheamh geal-soluis riut, 's an uair a gheibh thu fàth, 
rufth air falbh leis, ach thoir an fhaire, nach bean an truaill do ni air 
bith air taobh a stigh an taighe, aimeo ni e sgread 's cha teid do 
ghnothach leat." 

Chinn an gille mairtean 'na bhàta, 's chaidh Mac Iain Dirich air 
bòrd urra, 's thainig i air tìr aig creagan nan deargan aig taobh ma 
thuath Dhiiirath, 's leum Mao Iain Dirich air tir. 'S chaidh e a 
ghabhail muintireas aig seachd mnathan mora Dhihrath. Bainig e 
a *8 bhuail e aig an dorus, thainig na seachd mnathan mòr a mach, 
*s dh* fharraid iad ga-dè a bha e ag iarraidh. Thubhairt e, ga *n 
thainig e a sheall an robh feum aoa air gille ; dh' fharraid iad deth. 


ciod a b' urrainn d'a a dheanamh. Thuirt e, gu *in V urrainn d^a or 
's airgiod, na iarunn na stàilinn, a ghlanadh, 's an deanamh ga 
soilieir, geal, dearrsgnoidb. Thuirt iad ** Thado leithid a dhith oim," 
's cbuir iad tnarasdal air. 

Agasbba e ra dhicbiollach re sè seachdainean, 'a cbnir e na h-aile 
ni an an ordagh anbharra. A 's thug na mnatban mbr an fbaire dh' 
a, 's bba iad ag radh ri cbefle. *< 'S e so an gille is f hearr a bha againn 
riamh, faotaidh sinn an daidheamb geal soluis earbadh ris.** 

Thng iad d'a an claidheamh geal-soluis ri ghleidh an ordagh, agos 
bha esan a' toirt aire sbònraichte air a' chlaidbeamh gheal-sboluis gus 
aon latha nach robh na mnathan mòr aig an tigh. Smuainich esan 
gu 'm b' è sin an t-am dh* àsan gu ruith air falbh leis a' chlaidbeamh 
gheal sholuis ; chuir e ann 'san truaill e, 's thog e air a ghoalainn e ; 
ach a nnair a bha e a' dol a mach air an dorus, bhean barr an truaill 
do an ard-dorus, 's rinn an t-ard-dorns sgread, 's ruidh na nmathan 
mòr dachaidh, 's thug iad uaidh an claidheamh, 's thuirt iad ris. Cha 
tugamaid duit nair claidheamh geal-soluis, mar faigheadh tu dhhinne 
au fhalaire bbuidh aig righ Eirinn. 

Dh' fhalbh Mac Iain Dirich gu taobh a* chuain, 's choinnich an 
gille -màirtean air, 's thuirt e ris, *' Beul sios ort a Mhic Iain Dirich, 
cha do rinn 's cha dean thu mar a dh' iarras mis' ort ; cha 'n 'eil agam 
an nochd ach aon spog muilte, 's aon leth-cheann caora, ach is 
eiginn a bbith a' deanamh leis." Bheothaich iad gealbhan, 's roist 
iad feoil, ghabh iad biadh 's bha iad subhach. An ath latha thubhairt 
an gille-màirtean ri Mac Iain Dirich. " Cinnidh mise ann 'm bhàrca 
's rach thnsa air bòrt urra, 's theid mi a dh' Eirinn leat, 's a nuair a 
ruigeas sinn Eirinn rach thusa 'dh' ionnsaidh tigh an righ, as iarr 
seirbhis gu a bhith ann a' d' ghille stàpuil aige, 's a nuair a gheibb thu 
sin, bith gu easgaidh, ealamh a dheanamh gach ni a tha ri dheanamh, 
a 's gleidh na h-eich agus an usair ann 'n òrdugh ra mbath, gus gu 
'h earb an righ an fhalaire bhuidh nut, a 's a nuair a gheibh thu 
fàth ruith air falbh leatha. 

^* Ach thoir an fhaire tra a bhitheas tu ga toirt a mach, nach bean 
mire air bith dh* i, do ni air bith air taobh a stigh a' gfaeata, ach 
bonnaibh nan cas aice, air neo cha soirbhich do ghnothach leat." 

Agus an sin, chuir an gille-màirtean e fhein ann an riochd 
bàrca, chaidh Mac Iain Dirich air bòrd, 's sheol a* bhàrca leis do dh' 
Eirinn. Tra a rainig iad tir na b-Eirionn, leum Mac Iain Dirich air 
tir, 's chaidh e gu tigh an righ ; 's a nuair a rainig e an geata, dh' 
fharraid fear gleidh a' gheata d'e c'aite an robh e a' dol, *s thubhairt 
esan, gu 'n robh e a' dol a shealltinn an robh gille stàpuil a dlùth air 
an righ, 'sleig fear gleidh a' gheata seachad e, 's rainig e tigh an righ. 


bhuail e aig an doms, 's thainig an righ a mach ; agns thnbhairt an 
righ, *' De a tha thu ag iarraidh ann an so ?'* 

Thuirt esan, ** Le n' air cead, 'sann a thainig mi a shealltuinnj an 
robh feom agaibh air gille stàpuil." 

Dh' fharraid an righ, " Ciod a's nrrainn dnit a dheanamh ?'* 

Thnirt esan, " Is urrainn mi na h-eich a ghlanadh 's am biadb- 
adh, a 's an usair aca ghlanadh, a 's an obair airgiod a 's an obair 
stàilinn a ghlanadh, agus an deanadh dearrsgnnidh." 

Chuir an righ toarasdal air ; 's chaidh e do an stàpall. 'S chuir e 
gach IÙ an òrdugh math, thug e aire mhath air na eich, bhiadh e ga 
math iad, 's ghleidh e glan iad, 's bha an craicionn aca ag amhrac 
sliom, a's an obair airgiod 's an obair stailinn gu dearrsgnnidh ag 
amhrac, 's cha'n fhaca an righ iad cho math an ordugh riamh roimh. 
Agus thubhairt e, '''S e so an gille stàpuil is fhearr a bha agam 
riamh, faotaidh mi an fhàlaire bhuidh earbadh ris." 

Thug an righ an fhàlaire bhuidh do Mhac Iain Dirich ri ghleidh, 
agus thug Mac Iain Dirich an fhaire shònraichte air an fhàlaire 
bhuidh, bhiadh e, 's ghleidh e glan i, gus an robh an craicionn aice gu 
sliom sleamhainn, 's i cho luath a's gu'm fagadh i an darna gaoth, 's 
gu'm beireadh i air a' ghaoth eile. Cha'n fhaca an righ i riamh cho 

Chaidh an righ aon latha do*n bheinn sheilg ; Agus smuaintich 
Mac Iain Dirich, gu*m b'e sin an t-am gu ruith air falbh leis an fhàl- 
aire, chuir e na h-iiim i le srian 's diolaid, 's tra thug e a mach as an 
stàpull i, 's a bha e ga toirt a mach troimhe'n gbeata, thug i sguaise 
le a h-earbull 's bhean barr a h-earbaill do hrsainn a' gheata, a's leig i 
sgread aiste. 

Thainig an righ 'na ruith 's thug e o Mhac Iain Direach an fhàl- 
aire, agus thubhairt e ris, " Cha tugainnsa dhuit an fhàlaire bhuidh, 
mar faigheadh tu dhomh nighean righ na Frainge." 

Agus b* eiginn do Mhac Iain Dirich falbh, 's a nuair a bha e mar 
bheagan do thaobh na mara, choinnich an gille màirtean air, *8 
thubhairt e ris, *' Beul sios ort a Mhic lain Dirich, cha do rinn 's cha 
dean thu mar a dh'iarras mise ort, is eiginn duinne an nis dol do'n 
Fhraing. Ni mise mi fhein ann a'm' long, 's rach thusa air bòrd, a's 
cha'n fhada a bhithis mise gus an toir mi do'n Fhraing thu." 

Chuir an gille-màirtean e fhein ann 'n riochd long, 's chaidh Mac 
Iain Dirich air bòrd urra, 's sheol an gille màirtein do'n Fhraing 
leis, 's ruith e a fhein an aird ri aodann craige air tir tioram, 's thubh- 
airt e ri Mac Iain Dirich e a dhol an aird gu tigh an righ a dh' 
iarraidh cobhair a 's e a gh' radh, gu 'n deachaidh an sgioba a chall, 
a*8 an long aige a thilgeadh air tir. Chaidh Mac Iain Dirich gu tigh 


an righ, *8 bhtuiil e aig an dorns, thainig a h-aon a mach a dh' 
fhaicinn co a bha ann, dh' innis e a sgenl, *8 chaidh a thobhairt a stigh 
do 'n liichairt ; dh' fharraid an righ dheih, da as a bha e, 's gn-dè a 
bha e a deanamh an so. Dh' innis e sgenl na tniaighe dhaibh, gn 'n 
d' thainig stoirm mhbr air, 's gun deachaidh an sgioba a bh' aige a 
chall, a 's an long a bh' aige, a thilgeadh air tìr tioram, 's gn 'n robh 
i an siod, air a cnir an sard ri aodann creìge,lei8 na tonnan, 'a nach 
robh fios aige, gn-dè mar a gheibheadh e as i. 

Chaidh an ligh a's a' Bhanrigh, 's an teaghlach gu leir, gns a* 
chladach, a dh' fhaicinn na long, 's tra bha iad ag amhrac na luing, 
thbisich ceol anbharra binn air bòrd. Agus chaidh nighean righ na 
Erainge, air bbrd, a dh' fhaicinn an inneal chitiil, combla ri Mac Iain 
lAreach ; 'S an uair a bhitheadh iadsan ann an aon seombar, bhitheadh 
an oeol ann an seombar eile; ach ma dhdreadh, chnaladh an oeol 
air dair nachdair na luinge, 's chaidh iad an aird, air a clar nachd- 
air na long. Agns 'sann a bha an long, a mach air a' chuan a 
seailadh tìr. 

'S thnbhairt nighean righ na Frainge, " Is olc an cleas a rinn thn 
orm, c'àite am bh'eil thn los dol leam?" *' Thà;" thubhairt Mac Iain 
Dirich, <*mi a' dol leat do dh' Eirinn, gas do thoirt mar mhnaoidh do 
righ Eirinn, 's gu'm faigb mise uaidhsan an fhàlaire bhuidh aige, gus 
a tobhairt do mhnathan mora Dhihrath, 's gnm faigh mi napsan 
an claidheamh geal soluis aca, gus a thoirt do fhamhair mbr nan coig 
cinn, nan coig mill, 's nan coig mninealan, 's ga'm fiiigh mi naidhsan 
an t-seabhagghorm aige, gus a tobhairt dachaidh a dh' ionnsaidh mo 
mhuime, 's gu'm faigh mi saor o m' chrosan, a's o m' gheasan, 's 
bho dhroch eusaibh na bliadhna." 

'S thubhairt nighean righ na Frainge, ** B' fhearr leamsa, a bhith 
mar mhnaoidh agad fein." 

Agns tra thainig iad gu Ùr aig Eirinn, choir an gille-mldrtean e 
fein ann an riochd mnaoidh bhriagh, 's thoirt e ri Mac Iain Dirich, 
** Fag thnsa nighean righ na Frainge ann an so gos go*n till sinn ; 's 
iheid mise leat gu righ na h-Eirionn; 'S bheir mise a dhiol mnatha 

Chaidh Mac Iain Diridi a's an gille-mMrtean gn tigh righ na 
h-£irionn, *8 an gil1&>màirtean ann an riochd nighean bhriagh, 's a 
laimh ann 'n asgailt Mhic Iain Dirich ; Tra chunnaic righ na h-£irionn 
iad a' tighinn, thainig e 'nan coinnimh, thug e a roach an fhàlaire 
bhuidh agufl diolaid òir air a druim, 's srian airgiod as a ceann. 
Dh' f halbh Mac Iain Dirich leis an f hàlaire, far an robh nighean righ 
na Frainge. Bha righ Eirinn ra thoilichte leis a' mhnaoidh òg a 
fhuair e; 's bha cho beag foighldin aige, is ga'n robh e a los dol a 


laidh leatha, ma'n d' thumg an oidhche. Chaidh leabA a dheanamh 
deas daibh, 's chaidh iad a luidh, ach is beag fios a bha aig righ Eirinn 
ga*m b'e an gille màirtean a bha aige. 'S cha robh iad fada nan Inidh, 
gas an do learn an gille màirtean air an righ, 's cha d* f hag e mire 
feoil eadar ciil a mhoineil a's a bhunamhàsi naoh tug e dheth. 

*S dh' f halbh an gille-mairtean, 's dh* f hlig e righ na h-£irionn na 
abalach traagh leònta, 's chaidh e 'na raith far an robh Mac Iain Dirich 
's Nighean righ na Frainge, 's an fhUaire bhoidh. Thnirt an gille- 
màirtean, ** Theid mise an riochd long, 's rachadh sibhse air bòrd 
nira, 's bheir mi gu Dihrath sibh. 

Dh' fhòs e ann an riochd long, 'a chulr Mac Iain Dirich an f hàlaire 
bhnidh a stigh an tòiseach, 's chaidh e f hein 's nighean righ na 
FraingCf a stigh as a dèigh. Agns sheol an gille-mkirtean leo gn 
Dihrath 's chaidh iad air Ùr aig creagan nan deargan, aig Cille- 
mhoire, aig ceann mo thnath Dhiùrath. 'S tra chaidh iad air tir, 
thubhairt an gille-mMrtean, *<Fag thnsa an fhàlaire bhuidh, 's 
nighean an righ ann an so, gus gun till thu, 's theid mise ann an 
riochd fàlaire, 's theid mi leat gn mnathan mora Dhihrath, 's bheir 
mis' an diòl falaireachd dhaibh." 

Chaidh an gille-màirtean ann an riochd fàlaire, chnir Mac Iain 
Dinch an diolaid òir air a dhrim, 's an t-srian airgiod na cheann, 's 
chaidh e a dh* ionnsaidh seachd mnathan mòr Dhihrathleis. Noaira 
chonnaic na seachd mnathan mbr e a'tighinn,thainig iad na choineamh 
leis a chlaidheamh gheal-sholais, 's thug iad d'a e. Thug Mac Iain 
Dirich an diolaid bir far dmim a* ghille-mhàirtean, 's an t^srian air- 
giod a a cheann, 's dh' fhàg s-e aca e, a's dh' f halbh e fhein leis a 
chlaidheamh gheal-sholuis, 's chaidh e far an d* fhàge nighean righ na 
Frainge, 'S an fhalaire bhuidh a fhuair e righ na h-£irionn. Agus 
shaoil mnathan mbr Dhitirath,gu'mb'efàlaire bhuidh righ nah-Eirionn 
a fhuair iadsan, 's bha cabhaig mhòr urra gu dol g'a marcachd. Chuir 
iad diolaid air a druim, 's shrianaich iad a ceann, 's chaidh t^ dhinbh an 
aird air a drim, gus a marcachd, chaidh t^ eile an aird air chlabh 
na tè BÌDf *B iè eile aig chlamh na te sin, 's bha daonnan rum air son 
t4 eile ann, gus h^on an deigh h-aon, gu'n deachaidh na seachd 
mnathan mbr air druim a' ghilie-mhiuirtain, 's diiil aca gu'm b'e an 
fhalaire bhuidh a bha aca. 

Thug t4 dhiubh buille le slait do'n ghille mhàirtean, 's ma thug, 
ruith, 's roideasairich e air ais, 's air aghaidh, leo, air feadh a mhonaidh, 
's ma dheireadh chaidh e 'na leum-ruich, an aird thun mullach monadh 
Dhihrath, 's rainig e mullach aodann na creige mbr' a tha ann an sin, 
'a chiuraich e aghaidh ris a' chreige, 's chuir e a dhà chas toisich ri 
beulaobh na creige, 's thilg e an aird a cheann deiridh, 's thilg e na 



seachd mnathan mbr thair a* chreige. *S dh f halbh e a* gkrachdaich, 's 
rainig e far an robh Iain Direach 's nighean righ na Frainge, leis an 
fhàlaire bhnidh, agus an claidheamh'geal-soluis. 

Thubhairt an gille-mairtean, "Cuiridh mise mi fhein ann an 
riochd bàta, 's rach fein agns nighean righ na Frainge air bòrd, a' a 
thagaibh leibh an fhàlaire bhuidh, 's an claidheamh geal soluis, 'a 
bheir mise gu tir mòr sibh." 

Chuir an gille mairtean e fhein ann an riochd bàta, chair Mac 
Iain Dirich an claidheamh geal-Bolnis, 's an f biilaire bhuidh air bòrd, 
*8 chaidh e fhein 's nighean righ na Frainge, a stigh air bòrd as an 
deigb, 's chaidh an gille mkirtean ga tìr mòr leo. Kuair a rainig iad 
tir, chuir an gille-mairtein se fhein na riochd fein, 's thubhairt e ri 
Mac Iain Dirich. 

** Fag thusa nighean righ na Frainge, an f halaire bhuidh o righ 
Eirinn, 's an claidheamh geal soluis, ann an sin, 's theid mise ann an 
riochd claidheamh geal soluis, 's thoir thusa a dh' ionnsaidh an 
f hamhair mi, 's thoir thusa dh' a^ mi air son na seabhaig, 's bheir 
mise Mhiol claidheamh dh' a. 

Chuir an gille mairtean e fein an riochd claidheamh geal soluis. 
'S thug Mac lain Dirich leis e adh' ionnsaidh an f hamhair. 'S tra a 
chunnaic am famhair e a' tighinn choir e an t-seabhag ghorm 
ann am miirlag, 's thug e do Mhac Iain Dirich i, 's dh' f halbh e leatha 
gus far an d' f hag e nighean righ na Frainge, an f halaire bhuidh, 'a 
an claidheamh geal soluis. 

Chaidh am famhair a stigh leis a' ghille-mbairtean 'na laimh, 's e 
fhein a' saoilsinm ga'm b' e claidheamh geal soluis mnathan mora 
Dhihrath a bha aige. 'S thbisich e air fionnsaireachd 's air sguàiseal 
leis; ach ma dheireadh, liib an gille màìrtein fhein, agus sguids e na 
còig cinn fàrr an f hamhair, 's chaidh e far an robh Mac Iain Dirich, 's 
thubhairt e ris. 

** A Mhic Iain Dirich, cuir an diolaid òir air an fhàlaire, a's an t- 
srian airgiod na ceann ; 's rach fein ga marcachd, a's thoir nigh- 
ean righ na Frainge aig do chlaobh a's an claidheamh geal soluis, 's a 
chhl ri d' shròin. Air neò mar bi thu mar sin, tra du do mhhimè tho, 
tha sealladh aic' a tha cho nimh is gu'n gon i thu, 's tuitidh tn ann 
a'd'chhal chrionaich; ach ma bhitheas ciil a' chlaidheimh rid'shròin, 
's am faobhar rithse, a nuair a dh' fheuchas i ri doghonadh, tuitidh i 
fein 'na chal chrionaich." 

Rinn Mac Iain Dirich mar a dh' iarr an giUe-màirtean air, 'a a 
nuair a thainig e an sealladh an taigh, 's a sheall a mhuime air le 
shil nimheil, ghoimheil, thuit i 'na chal chrionaich ; 's chuir Mac 
Iain Dirich teine rithe, 's bha e an sin saor o eagal, 's bha aige a' bhean 


a b' fhearr an Albainn, 's bha an fhàlaire bhnidh cho luath is gu'm 
fàgadh i an darna gaoith, 's bheireadh i air a' ghaoith eile, 's chnm- 
adh an t-seabhag ghorm am pailteas sithinn ns, 's chmnadh, an 
claidheamh geal-soluis air falbh gach nàmhaid, 's bha Mac Iain 
Dirich gn sochdrach sona dheth. 

Thuirt Mac Iain Dirich ris a' ghille mhàirtean, '< 'S è do bheatha 
'ille-mhàirtean ga dol feadh mo ghrimd 's beothach air bith a shand- 
aicheas tn fein a ghabhail a thoirt leat, *s bheir mise àithne do m* 
ghillean, nach tilg iad saithead, 's nach marbh iad thn fhein na gin 
do d àl, ga b*e aon do an trend a bheir thn leat 

Thubhairtan gille-màirtean, <<61eidh thusa do tbreud dhuit fhein, 
is iomadh fear aig am bheil muilt a's caoirich cho math is a tha 
agadsa, 's gheibh mise am pailteas feoil an àite eile gun tighinn a 
chuir dradh ortsa, *8 thug an gille-màirtean beannachd le Mac Iain 
D^ich 'a dh' fhàlbh e, 's theirig an sgenl. 

Told by Angus Campbell, qnarryman, Knockderry, Roseneath. 
Written by John Dewar, whose language has been strictly fol- 
lowed. This dialect of Gaelic seems to contain English idioms ; 
and varies from the island Gaelic, especially in grammatical con- 

In this form the intention of the story seems to be the same 
as that of Murchag or Mionachag, No. 8. Every incident gives 
rise to another till the whole unwinds as a chain of cause and 
effect ; a single feather is the first link, and a Princess the last, 
and then the whole is run back again and the chain wound up, 
and it ends with Theirig an sgeul, which means that the story 
came to an end because there was no more of it. 

It is worth remark, that the objects sought are those which 
have been valued from the very earliest of times ; a Falcon, a 
Sword, a Horse, and a fair Lady. The story might belong to any 
country and to any age. The scene is as usual laid to the west- 
ward, as far as it will go, and then it turns back to the nearest 
and best known foreign country. 

Only two spots are specified — one is close to the Gulf of Corrie 
Bhreacan, the most remarkable place in the Highlands ; the other 
the most conspicuous rock on the top of one of the most con> 
spicuous and peculiar mountains in the West Highlands. 

It seems hopeless to speculate who these seven great women 
who guarded a shining sword may have been, but the worship 


of the scimitar maj Aave some bearing on the incident. The 
wicked muime fell a faggot of sticks before the sword, and 
the temple of the Scythian sword-god was a heap of faggots, 
from which human victims were thrown when they were sacri- 

People who are beaten to death, or enchanted in these Gaelic 
legends, are always falling like a faggot of sticks or twigs, Cual 
Chbionach ; so the expression here may be simply an illustration, 
but still the analogy is worth remark. 

The language is peculiar in the absence of pronouns ; the 
names are repeated over and over again, but this belongs rather 
to the writer than to the telling of stories in general. It is the way 
in which Dewar expresses himself with precision and accuracy. 
There can be no mistake about the meaning of anything which 
he has written for me. The effect is rather too much repetition, 
but a story so told would not be easily forgotten by those into 
whose heads the incidents had been so hammered. 

The following stories may throw some light on the Big Women 
of Jura. The first I have known all my life. They were sent to me 
by Mrs. MacTavish from Islay. 

2. Chaileach Bheine Mhobe lived in Jura, at Largic Breae, 
and had a ball of thread by which she could draw towards her, 
any person or thing, if she could throw the ball beyond them. 

She got MacPhie of Colonsay into her toils, and would not 
part with him. Every time he attempted to leave her, she used 
to intercept him, and even after he got into his Bioklikn, or 
barge, and got off from the shore, she would get him ashore again, 
by throwing the ball into the boat. (The giant in the story of 
Black White-red had a like magic clue). At last he pretended 
perfect contentment in his bondage, and got the secret from her 
that she had a hatchet which would cut the thread on the 
enchanting clue. He watched an opportunity and stole the 
hatchet, having previously ordered his boat to be in waiting at 
Onoc Breac at the foot of Bean a Ghaolis. He set out by the 
dawn of day, and was seated in his boat before the Oaileach got 
to the top of the hill, which she had climbed with speed, as soon 
as she missed him. When she saw him in the boat, she cried 
out most piteously — 


A Mhic a Phie 

A Gbaoils' thasgaidh 

An d' fhag thu air a cbladach mi 

Oh ! Mao Phie 

My love and treasure, 

Hast thou left me on the strand ? 

And this she often repeated throwing at the same time the 
Cearsia dhruidheachd, magic clue, into the boat, and drawing it 
towards the shore. But when she saw the thread cut and the 
boat rowing off beyond her reach, she got desperate, and slid down 
what is called Sgbiob na Cailioh, crying out, 

A Mhic a Phie 

Charrich granda 

'An d' fhag thu ùr a cbladach mi 

Oh ! Mac Phie 

Bough skinned and foul 

Hast thou left me on the strand ? 

Sgriob na Cailich is a very curious and conspicuous mark on 
the north-western side of the highest of the Jura hills. Two rocky 
gorges begin at the very top of the hill, which were made by the 
Oarlin's heels, and two strips of bare grey boulders extend across 
the side of lower hills almost to the sea. Unless these last are 
the marks of lightning, I cannot account for them. This is 
the place where Dewar's fox threw the big women over the rock. 

In her time the Island of Jura was under the sway of Mac- 
Donald of Islay, but this Oarlin was so powerful, that she would 
not allow the Islay post to pass through Jura, for she killed him 
as soon as he crossed the ferry. 

MacDonald spoke to a Jura man of the name of Buie, who 
lived at the Ferry and promised the farm of Largie Breac where 
the Caileach lived, to him and his heirs for ever, if he would kill 

He told his wife the offer that MacDonald had made him, 
remarking at the same time, that he never would attempt to 
encounter the giantess. 

Their eldest son, however, overheard his father, and set off 
the next day to offer battle to the Caileach. 


They had wrestled hard and long, when at length she brought 
him on his knees, and she said, " Thon art in extremity, a 
Mhic Meadb Bhuie, and pity it is so." **My grandmother, on 
the Underside of Alba, is here, and will come to help me if I 
be," said he, as he pnt his hand on his dirk. 

They engaged again, and she brought him on his knees again, 
saying the same words, Tha thu a t eigin a Mhio Meadh Bhuie 
6* b olc an arraidh e, when he drew his dirk and stabbed her to 
the heart. 

MacDonald performed his promise of giving the Baies Largie 
Breac, which they held for centuries after. 

3. There is a song about the same personage, whoever she 
may have been. I give it, though I do not quite understand it. 

Oaileach Bheinna Bhric horo 
Bhric horo Bhric horo 
Caileach Bheinna Bhric horo 
Oaileach mhor leathan ard 
Oha deachaidh mo bhuidheann fhiadh 
Bhuidheann fhiadh bhuidheann fhiadh 
Cha deachaidh mo bhuidheann riamh 
A dh'iarraidh chlabba do n traigh 

Carlin of Ben Breac horo, &c., 
Carlin great broad high. 
There went not my troop of deer, &c. 
There went not my troop ever 
To seek her clack to the strand. 

Now this old woman, or set of old women guarding a sword, 
or owning magic clues, and living in an island, are surely the 
same as the Groach, of whom so many stories are told in Brittany, 
and these are presumed to have been a college of Dmidesses. 
See Foyer Breton, vol. i. p. 157 ; and if so, the Carlin may be a 
fiction founded upon fact. 

The spelling Diura and Dinrath for the Island of Jura, does 
not change the sound, but seems to indicate a reasonable deriva- 
tion for the name which is common to the " Jura" mountains, 
and may well be an old Celtic name preserved, an diu bath, the 
waste steep, the Jura. 


There is a local rhyme in support of this view, said to haye 
been composed by a poetess who was a native of some' other 

Din Bath an domhain, 

I* diu dath an domhain ann, 

Baidhe Dugh a's Biabhach. 

Waste steep of the world, 

And waste hue of the world in it, 

Tellow, black, and brindled. 

These three colours being the most common family names, 
until very lately, in the island, as well as the distinguishing 
colours of the landscape, according to the eye of the discontented 

4. I have another vernon of ihis, which gives such a very dif- 
ferent view of the same incidents that I translate it, giving such 
bits of the Gaelic as seem best worth preservation. 

Ah Sionkach, the Fox, from John the tinker, Inverary, 
written by Hector Urquhart, 1859. 

Brian, the son of the king of Greece, fell in love with the hen- 
wife's daughter, and he would many no other but she. His 
&ther said to him on a day of days, before that should happen 
that he must get first for him the most marvellous bird that there 
was in the world. 

Then here went Brian, and he put the world under his head, 
till he went much farther than I can tell, or you can think, till he 
reached the house of Gailleach nan Guaban, the carlin of bus- 
kins. (A sock, a brogue of untanned leather or skin, commonly 
worn with the hairy side outward ; Lat.^ Gothumas ; WeUh^ 
Gwaran ; jPr., Gothume.) He got well taken to by the carlin 
that night, and in the morning she said to him, *' It is time for 
thee to arise, the journey is far." 

When he rose to the door, what was it but sowing and win- 
nowing snow ; he looked hither and thither, and what should he 
see but a fox drawing on his shoes and stockings. 

"Sha! Bheathaich, Sha! beast,'' said Brian, '*Thou hadst 
best leave my lot of shoes and stockings for myself." 

" Och," said the fox, *4t's long since a shoe or a stocking was 

VOL. IL 2 A 


on me ; and I ami thinking that I shall pnt them to ase this day 

" Thon ugly ladama (?) heast, art then thinking to steal my 
foot webs, CHATSBHEABT, and I myself looking at thee ?" 

" Well," said the fox, " if thou wilt take me to he thy seryant, 
thon shalt get thy set of dhoes and stockings." 

" Oh, poor beast,'' said he, " thou wooldst find death with me 
from hunger." 

" both ! " said the fox, " there 's little good in the gille that 
will not do for his ownself, and for his master at times." 

" Yes! yes," said he, *' I don't mind, at all events; thou mayst 
follow me." * 

They had not gone far on their journey when the fox asked 
him if he was good at riding. He said he was, if it could be 
known what on. 

" Come on top of me a turn of a while," said the fox. 

*' On top of thee ! poor beast, I would break thy back.*' 

" Ho ! huth ! son of the King of Greece," said the fox, " thou 
didst not know me so well as I knew thee ; take no care but that 
I am able to carry thee." 

But never mind ; when Brian went on the top of the fox, 


They would drive spray from each puddle, spark from each 
pebble ; and they took no halt nor rest till they reached the house 
of the Giant of Five Heads, Five Humps, and Five Throttles. 

^* Here 's for thee," said the fox, " the house of the giant who 
has the marvellous bird, an t eun iongantach ; and what wilt 
thou say to him when thou goest in ? " 

*' What should I say, but that I came to steal the marvellous 
bird ? " 

" Hu ! hu ! " said the fox, " thou wilt not return ; but," said 
the fox, *' take thou (service) with this giant to be a stable lad, 
and there is no sort of bird fo seachd ronagan ruadh an t 
SAOOHAHi, under the seven russet rungs of the world (from 

* So far, this is somewhat like the opening of Puss in Boots, 
mixed up with something else. 


KONG, a joining spar, a hoop, perhaps ring) that he has not got ; 
and when he brings out the marvellous bird, say thou ^ Faith ! 
fuith ! * the nasty bird, throw it out of my sight, I could find 
braver birds than that on the middens at home." 

Brian did thus. 

" S' tia ! " said the big one, " then I must go to thy country 
to gather a part of them." 

But Brian was pleasing the giant well ; but on a night of the 
nights, Brian steals the marvellous bird, and drags himself out 
with it. When he was a good bit from the giant^s house, '* S'tia !" 
said Brian to himself, '* I don't know if it is the right bird I have 
after every turn.'* Brian lifts the covering oflF the bird's head, 
and he lets out one screech, and the screech roused the giant. 

" ! ! son of the King of Greece," said the giant, " that I 
have coming to steal the marvellous bird ; the prophet Faidh 
was saying that he would come to his oird." 

Then here the giant put on the shoes that could make nine 
miles at every step, and he was'nt long catching poor Brian. 
They returned home to the giant's house, and the giant laid the 
binding of the three smalls on him, and he threw Brian into the 
peat comer, and he was there till the morning on the morrow's 

" Now," said the giant, " son of the King of Greece, thou hast 
thy two rathers ; whether wouldst thou rather thy head to be on 
yonder stake, or go to steal for me the White Glave of Light that 
is in the realm of Big Women ?" 

'* S' BAiOHEiL DUiNE Ri BHEATHA, a man is kind to his life," 
flaid Brian, " I will go to steal the White Glave of Light." 

But never mind ; Brian had not gone far from the giant's 
house when the fox met with him. 

** DHUiNE GUN TUB GUN TOiNisG, Oh man, without mind or 
sense, thou didst not take my counsel, and what will now arise 
against thee ! Thou art going to the realm of Big Women to 
steal the White Glave of Light ; that is twenty times as hard for 
thee as the marvellous bird of that carl of a giant." 

" But what help for it now, bat that I must, ionnsaidh a 
THUBHAiBT AIR, betake myself to it," said poor Brian. 

•< Well, then," said the fox, ** come thou on top of me, and I 
am in hopes thou wilt be wiser the next time." 


Tbey went then farther than I can remember, till they 
reached cnogan na 'n aoinb ajb cul oaoithe *s aib aodak 
OBEiNE, the knoll of the country at the back of the wind and 
the face of the snn, that was in the realm of big women. 

** Now,'' said the Fox, " thou shalt sit here, and thon shalt begin 
at BUBBAi«AicH blubbering, and caoimbadh crying, and when the 
big women come out where thon art, they will lift thee b'av 
achlais in their oxters, and when they reach the honse with 
thee, they will tiy to coax thee, but never thou cease of crying 
until thou get the White Glave of Light, and they will leaye it 
with thee in the cradle the length of the night, to keep thee quiet." 

Worthy Brian was not long blubbering and crying when the 
big women came, and they took Brian with them Its the fox had 
said, and when Brian found the house quiet, he went away with 
the White Glave of Light, and when he thought he was a good 
way from the house, he thought he would see if he had the right 
sword. He took it out of the sheath, and the sword gave out binn, 
a ring. This awoke the big women, and they were on their soles. 
" Whom have we here," said they, *'but the son of the King of 
Greece coming to steal the White Glave of Light." 

They took after Brian, and they were not long bringing him 
back. Oheangail iad ou cbudt b, they tied him roundly 
(like a ball), and they threw him into the peat comer, till the 
white morrow's day was. When the morning came they asked 
him CO b fhbabb leis a bhi fo shradan a bhuilq bheid'idh* to 
be under the sparks of the bellows, or to go to steal ah dia 

* BoLG BEiDiDH, bag of blowiug. The bellows used for melt- 
ing copper in the mint at Tangiers in 1841, consisted of two 
sheepskins worked by two men. The neck of the hide was fastened 
to the end of an iron tube, and the legs sewn up. The end of 
each bag opened with two fiat sticks, and the workmen, by a 
skilful action of the hand, filled the bag with air as he raised it, 
and then squeezed it out by pressing downwards. By working 
the two bags turn about, a constant steady blast was kept on a 
crucible in the furnace, and the copper was soon melted. The 
Gaelic word clearly points to the use of some such apparatus. ] 
believe something of the kind is used in India ; but I saw the 
Tangier mint at work. 


GREiHB* viaEAir BiOH Feill Fiohk, the Snn Gk>ddesB, daughter 
of the King of the gathering of Fionn. 

** A man is kind to his life," said Brian, *' I will go steal the 
Son GU>ddes8." 

Never mind. Brian went, hut he was not long on the path 
AiB AN T SUOHE wheu the fox met him. 

" Oh I poor fool," aaìà the fox, " thou art as faoik silly as thou 
wert ever. What good for me to he giving thee counsel, thou 
art now going to steal the Sun Goddess. Many a hetter thief 
than thou went on the same journey ; hut ever a man came 
never hack. There are nine guards guarding her, and there is 
no dress under the seven russet rungs of the world that is like the 
dress that is on her hut one other dress, and here is that dress 
for thee. And mind, said the fox, that thou dost as I ask thee, 
or, if thou dost not, thou wilt not come to the next soeula tale." 

Never mind. They went, and when they were near the guard 
the fox put the dress on Brian, and he said to him to go forward 
straight through them, and when he reached the San Goddess to 
do as he hid him. And, Brian, if thou gettest her out I will not 
he fiir from you. 

But never mind. Brian took courage, and he went on, and 
each guard made way for him, till he went in where the Sun God- 
dess, daughter of the King of the Gathering of Fionn, was. She 
put all hail and good luck on him, and she it was who was pleased 
to see him, for her father was not letting man come near her. 

And there they were ; hut how shall we get away at ail at all, 
said she, in the morning. Brian lifted the window, and he put 
out the Sun Goddess through it. 

The fox met them. *' Thou wilt do yet," said he ; ** leap you 
on top of me.*' 

And when they were far, far away, and near the country of 
hig women, 

" Now, Brian," said the fox, ** is it not a great pity for thy- 
self to give away this Sun Goddess for the White Glave of Light ?" 

" Is it not that which is wounding me at this very time?" said 

* DiA GsEivE may perhaps he Deo Gbeine, the sunheam, the 
name given to Fionn's hanner, and here applied to his daughter. 


" It is that I will make a Sun Goddess of mjself, and thod 
shalt give me to the big women," said the fox. 

" I had rather part with the Sun Goddess herself than thee." 

" But never thou mind, Brian, they wont keep me long." 

Here Brian went in with the fox as a Sun Goddess, and he 
got the White Glave of Light. Brian left the fox with the big 
women, aind he went forward. 

In a day or two the fox overtook them, and they got on him, 
and when they were nearing the house of the big giant, 

" Is it not a great pity for thyself* oh Brian, to part with the 
White Glave of Light for that filth of a marvellous bird." 

" There is no help for it," said Brian. 

" I will make myself a White Glave of Light," said the fox ; 
'' it may be that thou wilt yet find a use for the White Glave of 

Brian was not so much against the fox this time, since he saw 
that he had got o£Ffrom the big women. 

" Thou art come with it," said the big man. " It was in the 
prophesies that I should cut this great oak tree, at one blow* 
which my father cut two hundred years ago with the same 

Brian got the marvellous bird, and he went away. 

He had gone but a short distance from the giant's house, when 
the fox made up to him with his pad to his mouth. 

" What's this that befel thee," said Brian. " Oh, the son of 
the great one !" said the fox, "when he seized me, with the first 
blow he cut the tree all but a small bit of bark ; and look thyself 
there is no tooth in the door of my month which that filth of a 
Bodach has not broken." 

Brian was exceedingly sorrowful that the fox had lost the 
teeth, but there was no help for it. 

They were going forward, walking at times, and at times 
riding, till they came to a spring that there was by the nde of the 

" Now, Brian," said the fox, " unless thou dost strike off my 
head with one blow of the White Glave of Light into this spring, 
I will strike off thine." 

<* S'tia 1'* said Brian, " a man is kind to his own life," and he 
swept the head off him with one blow, and it fell into the well ; 


and in the wink of an eye, what should rise np out of tlt^ well, 
but the son of the King that was father of the Snn Goddess I , 
They went on till thej reached his father's hoDse, and his 
father made a great wedding with joy and gladnem that lasted a 
day and a year, and there was no word about marrying the hen* 
wife's daughter when I parted from them. 

There can be no doubt that this is the same legend as the 
Golden Bird in Grimm, and it is evident that it is not derived from 
the printed story. From the notes in Grimm's third volume, it 
appears to be very old and very widely spread. I am told that 
even now there is some trace of a veneration for birds amongst 
the Turks, who secretly worship parrots even at Constantinople. 

The giant of many heads and ornithological tastes is not in 
the German version, and the tinker has omitted the horse, which 
seems to hehug to the story. 

On the 25th of April 1859, John the tinker gave the begin- 
ning of this as part of his contribution to the evening's enter- 
tainment. He not only told the story, but acted it, dandling a 
fancied baby when it came to the adventure of the big women, 
and rolling his eyes wildly. The story which he told varied from 
that which he dictated in several particulars. It began : ^ 


'* There was a king and a knight, as there was and will be, and 
as grows the fir tree, some of it crooked and some of it straight, 
and it was the King of Eirinn, it was ; and the Queen died with 
her first son, and the King marned another woman. And the 
henwife came to her, and she said — A Bhanrigh dhona gholach 


AGAIN ROiMHE SO. Oh ! bad straddleing Queen, thou art not like 
the sonsy, cheery Queen that we had ere now. And here came 
a long bit which the tinker put into another story, and which he 
seems to have condensed into the first sentence in the version 
which I have got and translated. He has also transferred the 
scene from Ireland to Greece, perhaps because the latter country 
sounds better, and is farther o£F, or perhaps because he had got 
the original form of the story from his old father in the meantime." 


Some of the things mentioned in the tinker's version have to 
do with Dmidical worship — the magic well, the oak tree, the 
bird ; for the Celtic tribes, as it is said, were all gnided in their 
wanderings by the flight of birds. The Snn Goddess : for the Druids 
are supposed to have worshipped the snn, and the snn is feminine 
in Gaelic. These are all mixed up with Fionn, and the sword of 
light, and the big women, personages and things which do not 
appear out of the Highlands. Perhaps this is one of " the ser- 
mons '' to which Dewar refers. (See introduction.) 


From Sutherland. 

NOW Faiquhar was one time a drover in the Eeay 
country, and he went from Glen GoUich to Eng- 
land (some say Falkirk), to sell cattle ; and the staff 
that he had in his hand was hazel (caltuinn). One 
day a doctor met him. " What's that," said he, " that ye 
have got in y'r hand?" " It is a staff of hazel." "And 
where did ye cut that Ì" "In Glen Golhg : north, 
in Lord Eeay's country." "Do ye mind the place 
and the tree ? " " That do L" " Could ye get the 
tree Ì " " Easy." " Well, I will give ye gold more 
than ye can lift, if ye will go back there and bring me 
a wand off that hazel tree ; and take this bottle and 
bring me something more, and I will give you as much 
gold agaLo. Watch at the hole at the foot, and put 
the bottle to it ; let the six serpents go that come out 
first, and put the seventh one into the bottle, and tell 
no man, but come back straight with it here. 

So Farquhar went back to the hazel glen, and when 
he had cut some boughs off the tree he looked about 
for the hole that the doctor had spoken of. Aud what 
^oxdd oome out but six serpents, brown and barred 
like addeia These he let go, and clapped the bottle 
to the hole's mouth, to see would any more come out 


By and by a white snake came rolling through. Far- 
quhar had him in the bottle in a minute, tied him 
down, and hurried back to England with him. 

The doctor gave him siller enough to buy the Eeay 
country, but asked him to stay and help him with the 
white snake. They lit a fire with the hazel sticks, and 
put the snake into a pot io boil. The doctor bid 
Farquhar watch it, and not let any one touch it, and 
not to let the steam escape, "for fear," he said, "folk 
might know what they were at." 

He wrapped up paper round the pot lid, but he 
had not made all straight when the water began to 
boil, and the steam began to come out at one place. 

"Well, Farquhar saw this, and thought he would 
push the paper down round the thing ; so he put his 
finger to the bit, and then his finger into his mouth, 
for it was wet with the bree. 

Lo ! he knew everything, and the eyes of his mind 
were opened. " I will keep it quiet though,** said he 
to himself. 

Presently the doctor came back, and took the pot 
from the fir& He lifted the lid, and dipping his finger 
in the steam drops he sucked it; but the virtue had 
gone out of it, and it was no more than water to him. 

" Who has done this ! '' he cried, and he saw in Far- 
quhar's face that it was he. " Since you have taken 
the bree of it, take the flesh too,** he said in a rage, 
and threw the pot at him — (ma dh' ol thu 'n sugh ith 
an fheoil). Now Farquhar had become allwise, and he 
set up as a doctor. [The collector who took this down, 
grammar and all, here remarks, that Michael Scott got 
his knowledge by serpent's bree (brigh); and the wis- 
dom of the mouth is said to have belonged to Fingal, 
who began life as a herd boy on the Shin. Some giants 
came to him one day and bade him roast a fish for them, 


threatening to kill him if he burnt it. He did so, all 
but one small spot. On this spot he quickly put his 
finger, and aa quickly transferred the hot finger to his 
mouth, putting it under his teeth : a gift of omniscience 
was the result, and this became the foundation of his 
future greatness. 

The very same incident with a dragon's heart is in 
the Volsung tale, see Dasent's introduction, p. 65. It 
is told in Chambers' Nursery Songs, of some laird in 
Scotland. Mrs. MacTavish tells it, and I have heard 
it in the west in various shapes ever since I can 
remember. Grimm found it in Germany in the story 
of the White Snake ; and there are varieties of the 
same incident scattered throughout Grimm ; for instance 
in the Two Brothers, where children eat the heart 
and liver of a golden bird, and find gold under their 
pillows ; and this story has a relation in Gaelic also. 
But to return to Farquhar Leech.] 

He set up as a doctor, and there was no secret hid 
from him, and nothing that he could not cure. 

He went from place to place and healed men, and 
so they called him Farquhar Leigheach (the healer). 
Now he heard that the king was sick, and he went to 
the city of the king, to know what would ail him* 
It was his knee," said all the folk, " and he has many 
doctors, and pays them all greatly; and whiles they can 
give him relief, but not for long, and then it is worse 
than ever with him, and you may hear him roar and 
cry with the pain that is in his knee^ in the bones of 
it" One day Farquhar walked up and down before 
tìie king's house. And he cried — 

*' An daol dubh ris a chnamh gbeal." 
The black beetle to the white bone. 

And the people looked at him, and said that the 


strange man from the Eeay country was throngb- 

The next day Farquhar stood at the gate and cried, 
'^ The black beetle to the white bone !'* and the king 
sent to know who it was that *cried outside^ and what 
was his business. The man, they said, was a stranger, 
and men called him the Physician. So the king, who 
was wild with pain, called him in ; and Farqnhar stood 
before the king, and aye ^'The black beetle to the 
white bone !" said he* And so it was proved. The 
doctors, to keep the king ill, and get their money, put 
at whiles a black beetle into the wound in the knee, 
and the beast was eating the bone and his flesh, and 
made him cry day and night. Then the doctors took it 
out again, for fear he should die ; and when he was 
better they put it back again. Tina Farquhar knew 
by the serpent's wisdom that he had, when he laid his 
finger under his teeth ; and the king was cured, and 
had all his doctors hung. 

Then the king said that he would give Farquhar 
lands or gold, or whatever he asked. Then Farquhar 
asked to have the king's daughter, and all the isles that 
the sea runs round, from point of Storr to Stromness in 
the Orkneys ; so the king gave him a grant of all the 
isles. But Farquhar the physician never came to be 
Farquhar the king,^ for he had an ill-wisher that 
poisoned him, and he died. 

I am indebted to the kÌDdness of Mr. Cosmo Lmes for the fol- 
lowing note, which joins a legend to an historical fact. 

The names given are a canoas instance of old Gaelic spelling. 
They are evidently spelt by ear, and so spelt as to be easily un- 
derstood ; but they are not spelt according to modem rale. 
"^ — ■ " ■' ■ I ' I ■ III » 

* There is a kind of rhyme here, in Gaelic, — Fearachur Leigh, 
and Fearachur Righ. 

feàraohub IaEigh. 365 

It is not often we can connect these wild legends with record 
pi* charter, hut Farchar Leech receives a local habitation from 
authentic writs. 

The " Beay country" of the legend is Strathnaver. One race 
of Mackajs who inhabit it are called by their coontrymen clan 
▼ic Farquhar — from what Farquhar, was unknown to Sir Bobert 
Gordon and the local historians. The legend points to the man. 
In 1379 Farquhar, the King's physician (medicuB Begis) had a 
grant from the Prince Alexander Stuart (die Wolf of Badenoch) 
of the lands of Mellenes and Hope in that district ; and in 1386 
King Robert II. granted to the same person, styled Ferohard 
Leech, in heritage, the islands of Jura (now Aldemey), Calwa 
Sanda (J?a7u2a), Elangawne, Elanewillighe, Elanerone, i^anehoga, 
Elanequochra, Elanegelye, Elaneyefe, and all the islands lying 
between Bowestorenastynghe (i.e., the Sow or point of StorCt in 
AssyntX and Bowearmadale (i.e., ArmidcUe Mead in Farr), 

The writer of the old statistical account of the parish, speak- 
ing of these grants from hearsay or tradition, names the grantee 
" Ferchard Beton, a native of Isla, and a famous physician." 
Perhaps he was misled by the celebrity of the Isla Betons, several 
generations of whom were " mediciners," famous throQgh all the 
Islands and West Highlands. 

Whether Farchar Leech died by poison or otherwise, he 
seems to have left descendants who inherited his lands ; for, so 
late as 1511, Donald M'Donachy M*Corrochie described as 
** descendit frae Farquhar Leiche ;"" resigned Melness, Hope, and 
all his lands of Strathnaver in favour of the chief family of the 

The marriage with the King's daughter, as well as the black 
beetle, want confirmation. 

There is a west country version of this stoiy which I have 
known all my life in part ; and which agrees with the account of 
the writer who spoke from tradition long ago. 

Mrs. MacTavish writes : — 

2. The Olladh Ileagh (Islay Doctor). 

There were three brothers of the name of Beaton, natives of 
Islay, famed for their skill in medicine. One of the brothers, 
called John, went to Mull, and was known as the OUadh MuiUeachf 


or Mull doctor. His tomb is to be seen in lona. Another called 
Fergas remained in Islay, and was known as the Olladh Ileach. 
The third, Gilleadha, was in the end the most famed of the 
three ; he was the herbalist, and employed by his brother Fergas 
to gather herbs and prepare them for use. 

When boiling a cauldron of herbs, in which a white snake 
had been pnt, in stirring, it bubbled up and spattered on his hand, 
this he licked off, and at once he got such a view of his profession 
as to make him unrivalled. He was summoned to attend one of 
the Scotch Kings, who was cured by him ; but through the jealousy 
<>f other doctors, he never returned to Islay, having been poisoned. 

(So far the Islay tradition very nearly accords with the 
Sutherland account of Farquhar Leech). He was called to see 
a young lady, daughter of Mackay of Kilmahumaig, near Crinan. 
When approaching the house, attended by a servant, the latter 
remarked a sweet female voice which he heard singing a song ; — 

" 'S binn an guth cinn sin*' ars* n gilleadh. 

" 'S binn'* ars' an t OUadh, " air uachdar Losguin." 

" Sweet is that head's voice/* said the lad ; 
" Sweet,** said the doctor, " above a Toad.'* 

The poor young woman had an enormous appetite, which could 
not be satisfied, but she was reduced to a skeleton. The doctor, 
on hearing her voice, knew what her disease was, and ordered a 
sheep to be killed and roasted. 

The lady was prevented from getting any food, from which she 
was in great agony. 

She was made to sit by the sheep while it was being roasted, 
and the flavour of the meat tempted the toad she had swallowed 
to come up her throat and out of her mouth, when she was com- 
pletely cured. The reptile she had swallowed was called Loh 


Now, something very like this part was told me in Norway as 
a fact by a Norwegian, the travelling interpeter of an English 
companion. My old friend Juil has since become a flourishing 
contractor. He had seen a young woman on board a steamer 
going with her friends to Christiania for advice. She had been 
reaping, and had fallen asleep on a sheaf of com in the field. 
She slept with her mouth open, and a serpent had run down her 


throat. She had been in a state of terror and horror eyer since, 
and they were taking her to the capital. " I saw her myself," 
said my informant ; " I heard that the doctors could not cure her 
at Ghristiania, and that she went to Copenhagen. There all the 
great doctors were beat'; but a young doctor made them put her 
in a dark room, lying on her side on the floor, with a saucer of 
milk before her. * Serpents are very fond of milk you see.' 
The first time they opened the door the serpent had only put his 
head up, and he drew it in again when he heard the noise. The 
second time they moved the saucer a little further away, and he 
came out altogether, and the young doctor killed the serpent and 
shewed it to the young * womans,' " and thus she got quite well. 
** And that is quite true." 

Every word of it might be true, if we suppose a clever man 
and a woman possessed with an idea which had to be coaxed 
out of her ; but the question is, when did that clever man live, 
and where? — in Copenhagen — ^in the West Highlands — or in 
Africa, where the creature swallowed was a baboon, and the bait 
a banana skilfully administered by a doctor to Anansi (Dasent, 
Norse Tales, p. 602) ; or in London, where a clever doctor tempted 
a serpent out of a patient with a mutton chop, according to a 
story told to a friend of mine in his childhood ; or have there been 
many doctors and patients who have gone through the same ad- 
venture ? But to go on with the west country wise men. 

"The wife of a man who was suffering from rheumatism 
consulted the OUadh Muileach. He went to see him, bringing a 
birch rod, and having got his patient out of bed, ordered his wife to 
lay the birch rod smartly on his back, and chase him till the doctor 
would say it was enough. He would not allow her to cease till 
the poor man perspired freely and became supple, and free from 

This again might be true, every word; but when did the 
doctor live, and where ? Was it in the country of King Voonan ? 

A learned doctor in the Arabian Nights, the sage Dooban, 
makes King Voonan play at ball till he perspires and absorbs 
some medicaments from the handle of the ** Golfstick. " 

" Another man went to him for a cure for sore eyes. The 
doctor examined his eyes, but told him he was likely to suffer in 
A more serious manner from horns that would soon appear on his 


knees. The man seemed much alarmed, and asked if tliere was 
any way in which he could preyent such a calamity. ' No way/ 
said the doctor, *but by keeping your hands on your knees for- 
three weeks. At the end of that period come to me, that I may 
see how you get on.* The man did as he was adiiaed, and went 
to the doctor." 

'* Well," said the doctor, ** have the horns made their appear- 
ance ? '* ** No," said the man. 

" Have you attended to my advice ?" said the doctor. " Oh, 
yes," said the patient, " I have kept my hands continually, night 
and day, on my knees.*' 

" How are your eyes ?" said the doctor. *' My eyes are quite 
well,** said the man. *' Very well,'* said the doctor, ** go home 
and keep your mind easy about the homsy and do n*t rub your 

<' The descendants of both Fergus and Gilleadh are still in 

The name of Malcolm Bethune is written on a curious old 
manuscript in the Advocate's Library. It is described at page 295 
of the report of the Highland Society on the poems of Ossian, 
1805y with this note on the name : — " He was one of a family 
eminent for learning that supplied the Western Isles for many 
ages with physicians, whose diligence and skill are gratefully 
remembered in the traditionary record of their country.** 

It seems, then, that fifty-five years have not obliterated the 
popular tales clustered about the name of Bethune or Beaton, 
stored in the mind of one lady who may well remember the publi- 
cation of the report, and to whose excellent memory this collec- 
tion of stories owes so much. 

Is the whole of this a remnant of Serpent worship and sup- 
posed possession by the god ? In the Highlands now, as elsewhere, 
and from the earliest of times, serpents have something to do with 
healing. From the brazen serpent in the wilderness, to iEscula- 
pius, and from ^sculapius to Farquhar Leech and Dr. Beaton, 
is a long stretch of time and space ; but snakes are still associated 
with healing amongst Spartan shepherds, as well as Highland 
peasants, as the following extract from my journal will shew : — 

" 1852, May 10. — Having turned some Indian com out of a 
loft, took up our quarters for the night at a half-ruined hoose not 


far from Si>arta. At the door were a lot of fellows in shaggy 
eapoteB. drinking sour wine and making a row. One of tbem, 
(tressed in a kind of sheepskin cloak, with a long crook in his 
h^d, astonished me by pulling out a serpent a yard long, which 
he handled with perfect coolness. 

" I rattled down the ladder, to the risk of my neck, and found 
that he had a bag full. There might have been half a dozen. I 
made him turn them all out, and set the Greeks to catch them 
again. My friend ended by producing a number of white powders, 
which made the swallower independent of snake bites. I bought 
a dozen, and proceeded to test them in the candle. They were 
vegetable, and I suspect flour." 

In Ceylon, according to Sir Emerson Tennent (page 193), it 
is the same. 

" There is a rare variety (of snakes) which the natives fanci- 
fully designate the King of the Cobras. It has the head and the 
anterior half of the body of so light a colour that at a distance it 
seems like a silvery white." . . . ** Raja or King." 

In the same page it appears that the snake charmers use a 
certain stone to cure snake bites, and that they also use a certain 
root. I do not know the word for snake, but Kaja is not unlike 
BiOH, King. Snake charmers are also common in Northern Africa. 

The serpent creed then is very widely spread, and the belief 
in the Highlands is worth illastration. 

Widow Mary Calder (in Sutherland) tells, that "The great 
white snake is not uncommon in Sutherland, and has been some- 
times, but not often, killed. It never rests by day or by night, 
and besides running along the ground, has a revolving motion 
peculiar to itself, turning over and over through an ivory ring 
which is loose on its body. This is formed from its own slime, 
and sometimes slips off, — in which case the snake makes another, 
and the finder of the ring is safe against all diseases and enchant- 
ments." — Vide adder beads in the Gallovidian Encyclopaedia. 

** Another great serpent has been seen by the natives. The 
last was nine feet long, and covered with hair ; it had a mane, and 
was a bodily manifestation of the evil one." 

It was a common belief in the West that " snakes' eggs" were 
lucky. I once owned one, but lost it. It was a bead of various 
colours, blue and white, apparently of glass, very like those figured 

VOL. U. 2 B 


in Wilson's Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, page 304. These are 
commonly found in tumuli, and are the adder stones of the Low- 
lands, and Druid's glass in Ireland. They are supposed by Mr. 
Wilson to have been worn as charms by women of that unknown 
prehistoric race which once inhabited Scotland. At all events, 
the idea that they were produced by snakes is common. Mr. 
Wilson suggests "the probable means of accounting for their 
introduction into Britain is by the Phoenicians, or by traders 
in direct communication with that people." If so, the same people 
may have brought the belief and the tales from the East, where a 
serpent has had to do with mythology from the earliest of times, 
(See Rawlinson's Herodotus, under the head Serpent). But be- 
sides this white king of snakes, who has a brother Baja in Ceylon, 
there is the great eel which is always appearing in lakes and in 
the sea, and which is firmly believed to exist. It has no peculiarity 
that I know of but enormous size. A keeper used to tell me that 
he saw it repeatedly in a small but very deep lake. " It was as 
big as a saik'' (sack). I am quite sure the man believed what he 
said, though I believe his eyes had but realized an old legend. 

Mrs. MacTavish writes : — " An old man in Lorn used to tell 
that he went one summer morning to fish on a rock ; he was not 
long there when he saw the head of an eel pass. He continued 
fishing for an hour, and the eel was still passing. He went home, 
worked in the field all day, and having returned to the same rock 
in the evening, the eel was still passing, and about dusk he saw 
her tail disappearing behind the rock on which he stood fishing.'* 
The old man was nicknamed Donul n* ro ; Donald of the reef. 

That eel was a bouncer, but not so big as the sea-serpent of 
the Edda, which went round the world. 

A gentleman, in whose house I dined at Tromsoe,near the arctic 
circle, told me that " the fishermen often saw the sea-worm in 
Salten Fjord." All the world have heard of Capt. MacQaae*8 
sea-snake. I have a drawing of him done by a gentleman who 
was a midshipman on board the Doedulus, and saw him. I lately 
saw a master of a merchant vessel at Liverpool, who calmly 
and deliberately assured a royal commission that .he had seen 
a large serpent "in the sea about the same place." He said nothing 
about it in the papers, for no one would believe him ; but he had 
no doubt about it — ^he saw the sea-snake. 


I have no donbt that these men all believed what they said to 
be true. It is hard to believe that they were all mistaken. Few 
of them can have heard of Pontoppidan, Bishop of Bergen ; but 
his book gives pictures of the sea-snake, and tells how it was seen 
and shot at in Norwegian Fjords in his day. There surely are 
some such creatures in the sea. Highland stories are full of sea 
monsters which are called Uille bheist and Draygan, and which 
have numerous heads. Surely there must be some foundation for 
so many fictions. St. G-eorge killed a Dragon ; Perseus a sea 
monster ; Bellerophon the Chimera ; Hercules the Hydra ; Apollo 
killed Pytho ; Fraoch killed, and was killed by, a Behir (great 
snake) ; Vishnoo killed a serpent in India. *' Sin, the giant 
Aphophis, as Hhe great serpent,' often with a human head," was 
represented pierced by the spear of Horus or of Atmoo (as Ke the 
Sun) in Egypt.* In short, I believe that the Gaelic serpent 
stories, and the Highland beliefs concerning them, are old myths, 
a part of the history of the oldest feud in the world ; the feud 
with the serpent who was " more subtile than any beast of the 
field that the Lord had made," for the leading idea seems always 
to be that the holy, healing power overcomes the subtile destroyer. 
Thus Mrs. MacTavish tells that St. Patrick coaxed the last Irish 
snake into a chest by the promise that he would let him out " to 
morrow," and then he put him into Lough Neagh, and there he 
is still. The serpent is always asking, "is it to-morrow ?* but 
a to-morrow *' is never come ; and no serpents are to be found on 
any place belonging to Ireland to this day. 

The same belief extends to numerous small islands on the coast 
of Scotland, and old ruined chapels with sculptured grave-stones 
are generally to be found in them. I know one such island 
where some boys (as I was told) once took a living serpent, and 
it died. It is named Texa, and this legend is attached to it : — 
" It is a portion of Ireland which a giant's wife took a fancy to 
carry across the Channel in her apron. From a rent in the apron, 
Tarsgier fell through, and the rent getting larger, Texa fell from 
her, and so by degrees did all the other rocks and islets between 
Texa and the point of Ardmore, where she left Eillan a chuirn, 
which she did not think worth taking any further, being so much 

* Bawlinson's Herod., vol. ii., p. 261. 

" -^'**''**'^a>T'ai^-fT^-irr'iìrf'Tf'^'°™*^^r^= 3V^>^^ ■" i ■. w ■i.^^^^^^»B^^y^i m i i i ■ n 


annoyed at having lost the rest. Certain it is that neither serpents 
nor toads are found in these islands, though hoth are numerous in 
Islay. It is said that neither can live in any place which St. 
Columba blessed, or where he built chapels and monasteries, such 
as in Eillach a Naomh and lona." 

So then, in the West Highlands now, the holy power oyercomes 
the snake, as in mythology over great part of the world, and as 
it seems to me the belief may perhaps be traced to holy writ. 


From John Campbell, Stratb Gairloch, Boss. 

T^HEEE was once a young lad, and lie went to seek 
-*- a wife to Sgire mo Chealag; and he married a far- 
mer's daughter, and her father had but herself. And 
when the time of cutting the peats came on, they went 
to the peat hag, the four. 

And the young wife was sent home to seek the 
food ; and when she had gone in she saw the speckled 
filly's packsaddle over her head, and she began to cry, 
and to say to herself, — 

*' What should ^e do if the packsaddle should fall, 
and kill herself and all that were to follow." 

When the people who were gathering the peats 
found that she was long without coming, they sent her 
mother away to see what was keeping her, and when 
the carlin arrived she found the bride crying, 

"That it should come to me !"— Said she, "What 
came to theel" 

"Oh," said she, "when I came in I saw the 
speckled filly's packsaddle over my head, and what 
should I do if it should fall and kill myself, and all 
that are to follow ! " 

The old woman struck her palms. " It came to 
me this day ! If that should happen, what shouldst 
thou do, or I with thee !" 


The men who were in the peat-hag were thinking 
it long that one of the women was not coming, for 
hunger had struck them. So it was that the old man 
went home to see what was keeping the women, and 
when he went in it was so that he found the two cry- 
ing, and beating their palms. 

" 0, uvon !" said he, " what came upon you ?" 

" ! *' said the old woman, ** when thy daughter 
came home, did she not see the speckled filly's pack- 
saddle over her head, and what should she do if it 
should fall, and kill herself and all that were to 
follow !" 

" It came upon me ! " said the old man, as he struck 
his palms, " If that should happen ! " 

The young man came at the mouth of night, full 
of hunger, and he found a leash crying together. 

"Oovoo!" said he, "what came upon jouì" and 
when the old man told him ; 

"But," said he, **the packsaddle did not fall" 

When he took his meat he went to lie down; and 
in the morning he said, " My foot shall not stay till I 
see other three as silly as ye." 

Then he went through Sgire mo Chealag, and he 
went into a house in it, and there was no man within 
but a leash of women, and they were spinning on five 

" I myself will not believe," said he, " that it is of 
the people of this place that you are." 

" "Well, then," said they, " it is not. We ourselves 
will not believe that it is of the people of the place that 
thou art thyself.'' 

" It is not," said he. 

" Weel," said they, " the men that there are in this 
place are so silly, that we can make them believe any- 
thing that we please ourselves." 



" Weel," said he, " I have here a gold ring, and I 
will give it to the one amongst you who will best make 
her husband believe." 

The first one that came home of the men, his wife 
said to him, " Thou art sick." 

" Am I," said he. 

" Oh thou art," said she, " put off thee thy lot of 
clothes, and be going to lie down." 

He did this, and when he was in the bed she said 
to him, " Thou art now dead." 

"Oh, am I?" said he. 

" Thou art," said she, " shut thine eyes and stir not 
hand or foot." 

And now he was dead. 

Then here came the second one home, and his wife 
said to him, " It is not thou." 

0, is it not me % '' said he. 

" 0, it's not thou," said she. 

And he went away and betook himself to the 

Then here came the third to his own house, and he 
and his wife went to He down, and a summons went 
out on the morrow for the burial of the dead man, but 
this wife would not let her husband get up to go 

When they saw the funeral going past the window, 
she told him to be rising. He arose in great haste, 
and he was seeking his set of lost clothes, and his wife 
said to him that his clothes were about him. 

« Are they Ì " said he. 

" They are," said she : " Haste thee that thou 
mayest catch them." 

Here, then, he went, running hard. And when 
the funeral company saw the man who was stripped 
coming, they thought it was a man who was out of his 


reason, and they themselves fled away, and they left 
the funeral. And the naked man stood at the end of 
the dead-chest. And there came down a man out of 
the wood, and he said to the man who was naked, — 

" Dost thou know me ?" 

" ITot I," said he, " I do not know thee." 

" Oh, thou dost not ! If I were tomas my own wife 
would know me." 

" But why,'' said he, " art thou naked ?" 

" Am I naked ? if I am, my wife told me that the 
clothes were about me." 

" It was my wife that said to me that I myself was 
dead," said the man in the chest. 

And when the men heard the dead speaking, they 
took their soles out (of that), and the wives came and 
they took them home, and it was the wife of the man 
who was dead that got the ring. 

And then he saw three as silly as the three he left 
at home, and returned home. 

And then he saw a boat going to fish, and there 
were twelve men counted going into the boat, and when 
she came to land, there was within her but eleven men, 
and there was no knowing which one was lost, for the 
one who was counting was not counting himseK at alL 
And he was beholding this. 

" What reward would you give me if I should find 
you the man that is lost by you ?" 

" Thou shalt get any reward if thou wilt fijid the 
man," said they. 

" Sit there," said he, " beside each other ;" and he 
seized a rung of a stick, and he struck the first one a 
sharp stroke. 

" Mind thou that thou wert in her " (the boat). 

He kept on striking them, till he had roused twelve 
men, and made them bleed on the grass. 


And though they were pounded and wounded, it 
was no matter, they were pleased, because the man who 
was lost was found, and after the payment they made 
a feast for the one who had found the man who was 

The tenants of Sgire mo Chealag had a loch on 
which they used to put fish, and so it was that they 
needs must drain the loch, to get fresh fish for the 
feast ; and when the loch was drained, there was not a 
single fish found on the loch but one great eeL Then 
they said, — 

"This is the monster that ate our fish." Then 
they caught her, and they went away with her to drown 
her in the sea. And when he saw this he went home ; 
and -on the way he saw four men putting a cow up to 
the top of a house that she might eat the grass that 
was growing on the house-top. Then he saw that the 
people of Sgire mo Chealag were men without intelli- 
gence ; but said he, " What reward will you give me, 
and I will bring the grass down Ì " 

He went and he cut the grass, and he gave it to 
the cow, and went on before him. 

Then he saw a man coming with a cow in a cart, 
and the people of the town had found out that the man 
had stolen the cow, and that mod a court should be 
held upon him, and so they did ; and the justice they 
did was to put the horse to death for carrying the cow. 

And to shew you that this tale is true, it was this 
that made Iain Lorn the bard say : — 

*' As law of ages that are not 
As was Sgire mo Cheallag, 
When doomed they the garron in mote. 



Bha Gille og ann uair 's chaidh e dh* iarraidh mna do Sgire ma 

Chealag, agos phos e nighean tuathanaich 's cha robh aig a h- 

athair ach i fliein, agus dar a thainig am bnain na mbinp, chaidh 

iad do'D bhlar mhòìne 'nan ceathrar. 'S chuiradh a' bbean og 

dhacbaidh air tbbir na diatbad, agus air del a stigh dhi cbunnaic i 

stratbair na Ikroch brice fos a cionn, agns thoisicb i air caoineadh 's air 

gradba rithe f bein, de dheanag ise na 'tuiteag an t-srathair, 's gum 

marbbag e i fhein 's na bbeir a siabhal. Dar a b' fhada le luchd bnain 

na moine a bha e gun tighinn chair iad a mkthair air falbh a sbeallt- 

ainn de bha ga cumail. Nuair a ranig a' cbailleach fhuair i 'bhean og a 

caoine a steach, "Air tighinn ormsa," ars' ise, "de thainig riut?" " O," 

as ise, " dar a thainig mi steach cbunnaic mi Stratbair na Ikroch brioe 

fos mo chionn *s de dheanainn-sa na'n tuiteadh i 's gu marbhag 1 mi 

fhein 'b na th'air mo shiubhal I " Bhuail an t-seana bhean a basan. 

" Thainig ormsa an diugh I na'n tachradh sin, de dheanadh tu, na mise 

leat I" Bha na daoine a bha 'sa bhlar mhòin' a gabhail fadachd nach 

robh a h-aon do na Boireanaich a tighinn, bho*n bhuail an t-acras 

iad. 'San a dh' fhalbh an seann duine dhacbaidh, a dh' fhaican de bha 

cumail nam boireannach, agus dar a chaidh e steach 'sanii a fhuair e 'n 

dithis a' caoineadh sa' has bhualadh. " Ochon," ars* easan, de a thainig 

oirbh." " 0," arsa'n t-seana bhean, "dar a thainig do nighean dachaidh, 

nach faco i stratbair na làiroch brice fos a cionn, 's de dhianag ise 

na 'n tuiteag i 's gum marbhag i i fhein 's na bheir a siubbal. *' Thainig 

ormsa," arsa an seann duine 'se buala, nam has nan tachradh sin. 

Thainig an duine og am beul na h-oidhche Ikn acrais, 's thuair e 

triur a' comb chaoiniadh. " Ubh, ubh," ars' easan, " gu de thainig 

oirbh." Agus an uair a dh' innis an seann duine dha. " Ach," ars' 

easan, "cha do thuit an t-srathair." Nuair a ghabh e biadh 

chaidh e luidhe, agus anns a mhaduinn thubhairt easan, "Cha stad mo 

chas ach gu faic mi triur eile cho gbrrach ruibh, dh' fhalbh e so air 

feadh Sgire mo chealag, agus chaidh e steach do thigh ann, agus cha 

robh duine a steach ach triur bhan, 's iad a' suiamh air coig Cuigeal 

an. " Cha chreid mi fhein," ars' easan, "gur h-ann a' mhuintir an kite 

80 tha sibh. " Ta," ars' iadsan, " cha 'n ann cha chreid sin ; fhein gur 

ann a mhuinter an kite son fhein, 'S ann cha 'n ann," ars' easan. 

" Will,'' &i's' iadsan, tha na daoine tha 'san kite so cho faoin 's gun 

dobhair sinn a chreidsinn orra na h-uile ni a thoileachas sinn fhein." 

"Will," ars' easan, "thafkinne òir agam an so agus bheir mi e 

do'n te agaibh a 's fearr a bheir a chreidsin air an duine." A chend 


fhear a thainig dhachaidh do na daoine thuirt a bhean ris, *' Tha tha 
tinn." ** Am bheU ? " as else. ** O tha," thuirt ise. « Cuir dhiot do 
chaid aodaich 's bi dol a luidh." Rinn e so ; agus dar a bha 6 anns 
a* leabaidh, thuirt i ris, " Tha thu nise marbh." ** O am bbeil?" as eise. 
** Tha," as ise, ** dùin do shuilean 's na gluais lamh na cas." Agus 
bha e so marbh. Thainig an so an darna fear dhachaidh, agus thubh- 
airt a bhean ris, ** Cha tu th'ann." ** O nach mi," as eise. " O cha 
tu," as ise. 'S dh' fhalbh e 's thug e choille air. Thainig an so an 
trithumh fear a dh'ionnsaidh a thighe fhein, agus chaidh e fhein 
^sa bhean a luidhe, 's chaidh gairm a mach am mairoch chum an 
duine marbh a thiolagag ; ach cha robh a bhean-san a leigeil leisean 
eiridh dho dhol ann, Dar a chunnaic iad an giulan a* dol seachad air 
an uineig dh' fhiar i air e bhi 'g eiridh. Dh' eirich e 'so le cabhaig 
mhoir 's bha e 'g iarraidh a chnid aodaich 's e air chall, 's thubhairt, 
a bhean ris gun robh a chuid aodaich uime. ** Am bheil ?" as eise, 
" Tha," as ise. *^ Greas thusa ort achd gu beir thu orra." Dh' fhalbh 
e 'so 'na chruaidh ruith, agus an uair a chunnaic cuideachd a' Ghiul- 
ain an duine lomnochd a' tighinn, smaoinich iad gur duine e a bha 
as a chiall, 's theich iad fhem air falbh, 's dh' fhag iad an Giulan, 
agus sheas an duine lomnochd aig ceann na ciste mhairbh, agus 
thainig duine nuas as a' choille, agus thubhairt e ris an duine bha 
lomnoehd, ** Am bheil thu dha m' ainmin ?" " Cha 'n 'eil mise," as 
easan, dha 'd tainhi. ^* cha 'n 'eil ; na bo mhi Tomas dh' ainicbag 
mo bhean fhein mi." *^ Ach carson," as easan, a tha thusa lomnochd?" 
^' Am bheil mi lomnochd ? Ma tha thubhairt mo bhean rium gun 
robh an t-aodach umam." ** 'Se mo bhean a thubhairt riumsa gun 
robh mi fhein marbh," arsa a' fear a bha 'sa chiste. Agus an uair 
a chuala na daoine am marbh a' bruidhinn thug iad na buinn asta 's 
thainig na mnathan 's thug iad dhachaidh iad, agus 'se bean an 
duine a bha marbh a fbuair am fàinne, agus chunnaic easan^n sin 
triur cho gbrrach ris an triur a dh' fhag e aig an tigh, agus thill 
easan dhachaidh. 

Agus chunnaic easan an sin bàta 'dol a dh' iasgach, agus 
chunntadh da dhuine dheug a' dol a steach do'n bhàta, agus an 
uair a thainig i gho fìr cha robh innte ach aon duine deug. 'S cha 
robh fios CO a' fear a bha air chall. Agus a' fear a bha ghan 
'cunntag cha robh e gha chuntag fhein idir, agus bha easan a* 
coimhead so. ** Gu de an duals a bheir sibh dhomhsa na 'faoigh- 
inn a' fear a tha air chall uirbh ?" " Gheamh thu duais air bhith 
mo Gheamh thu 'n duine," thubhairt iadsan. <<Dianaibh," as easan 
Sttidhe ri taobh a cheile ma tha. Agus rug e air siulpan maide, agus 
bhuail e 'cheud fhear, ** Biadhag cuimhne agadsa gu robh thu fhein 


innte/' Lean e air am bualadh gas an d^ fhuair e naire da dhnine dheag 
'secuir fail gu fear orra, agos ged abha iad pronnte ages leòinte cha 
robh comas air, bha iad toilicbte air son ga 'n d' fhuarag an duine bha 
air chall, agas air chiil paigheag ^s ann a rinn iad cairm d'on daine a 
fhoair a' fear a bha air cball. 

Bha loch aig taath Sgire mo chealag air am bitheag iad a' 
cmr iasg, agas 'ars esan 'sann bo choir dhaibh a* loch a' thrkig 
gas am faigheag iad iasg ùr dhon na Cairme ; agas dar a thraog 
an loch cha d' fhuarag diarg èisg air an loch ach aon Easg- 
ann mhor, Thubhairt iad an so ga 'm b'e siad a' bhiast a dhith 
an t-iasg oirra. Rug iad orra an so agas dh' fhalbh iad leatha ga 
bathag 'sa mhuir ; agas a naair a channaic easan so, dh' fhalbh e 
dhachaidh, agas air a' rathad, channaic e ceathrar dhaoine a' car 
saas mart gho mnllach tighe gas an itheag e feur a bha cinntin air 
mullach an tighe. Channaic e 'so ga mo daoine gan tamhoil sluagh 
Sgire mo chealag. *'Ach," as easan, "de 'n daais a bheir sibh 
dhonihsa 's bheir mi nuas am feur?'* Chaidh e 's dh' iarr e fear 's 
thag e do 'n mhart e, agus dh imich e roimhe. Channaic e 'so duine 
a' tighinn 's mart aige ann an cairt, agas dh' aithnich daoine a' 
bhaile gar e 'goid a' mhairt a rinn a' fear so. '* Agas 's e bo choir mod 
a char air." Mar so rinn iad, agus 's e 'n ceartas a rinn iad an t-each 
a chuir gu bàs airson a bhith gihian a' mhairt. 

Agus gu diarbhag a thoir dhuibhsa gu 'm bheil an sgeulachd so 
fior 'se so a thug air Iain Lfim am Bard a chantamn, 

** Mar lagh na linnibh nach mairionn 
A bha 'Sgire Mo cheallag 
Dar a dbit iad an gearran" 
• H. Ubqukakt. 

This story was written by Hector Urquhart, from the telling 
of John Campbell in Strathgairloch, in Boss-shire, in June 1859. 
The narrator is sixty-three, and he says he learned the story from 
bis father about forty years ago. Iain Lorn, the bard quoted, 
was a famous Highland poet, and lived in the reigns of Charles 
the First and Second ; he died at a very advanced age about 1710. 
His name was Macdonald ; his country, Lochaber ; and his 
nickname, Lorn, means bare or keen, for it is applied to a beard- 
less man like the poet, or a biting keen wind like his sarcastic 


He was pensioned by Charles the Second as bis bard, brought 
Montrose and the Campbells together at Inverlochy, and kept 
out of the fight, saying to the commaDder of the Irish auxiliaries, 
"If I fall, who will sing thy praises?" He did sing the battle, 
in which the Campbells got the worst ; and the story goes, that 
Argyll was so nettled by the song that he offered a reward for 
his head. 

He came himself and claimed the reward, and was courteously 
received, and conducted through the castle. On entering a room 
hung round with black-cocks' heads, Argyll said, " Hast thou 
ever, John, seen so many black-cocks in one place?" " I have 
seen them," said John. "Where?" "At Inmher Lochaidh." 
" Ah ! John, John, thou wilt never cease gnawing the Campbells." 
*' The worst for me is that I cannot swallow them," said John. 

This story, a short biography, and a selection from the poems 
of Iain Lom, will be found in John Mackenzie's " Beauties of 
Gaelic Poetry," 1841, (Glasgow : MacGregor, Poison, & Co., 75 
Argyll Street), a work which deserves to be better known. The 
verse quoted horn memory by John Campbell, is in a song 
dedicated to the Macdugalds, and is this : — 

" Cleas na binne nach mairean 
Bha 'n sgire cille-ma-cheallaig 
'Nuair a dhit iad an gearran 'sa mhòd ; " 

and the story told in the note is, that some women, as judges, 
doomed a horse to be hanged. The thief who stole him first got 
off) because it was his first offence ; the horse went back to the 
house of the thief, because he was the better master, and was con- 
demned for stealing himself the second time. 

There is an ingenuity in this unreasonable decision, which 
proves the inventor of that story to have been no fool. 

The story had passed into a saying long ago : — 

Gka. TuaADH AN Cille-ma-Cheallaio breath bu chlaoihb. 

There would not be given in Cille ma Cheallaig judgment 
more childish. 

Part of this story, then, has a Gaelic pedigree of about 200 
years. Part of it is nearly the same as the beginning of No. 20, 
and is like "Die kluge Else" in German, which has a German 
pedigree in Grimm's third volume, which dates from 1588. The 


Btory belongs to the same class as an old English rhyme, of which 
a version is given in Old Nurse's book, by C. Bennet, 1857. 

" There was a little woman 
As I 've heard tell, 
And she went to market 
Her eggs for to sell, etc. etc. 

She goes through adventures, — 

" And she met a pedlar. 
And his name was Stout, *, 

And he cut her pettiecoats 
All round about.** 

The little old woman got very cold, and when she awoke 
doubted her identity, and when her little dog at home barked at 
her, she ran away, sure it was not her (and this is like the Norse 
tale, "Goosy Grizzle.") 

A lot of similar stories are common in the Highlands. The 
following are from Sutherland, and form part of the collections 
already referred to : — 

2. The Assynt man's mistakes. 

Assynt is looked on in Sutherland and Boss-shire as being in a 
state of barbarism resembling that which the people south of 
Stirling supposed to prevail north of it ; and the mistakes of the 
Assyndiach are the groundwork of half the children's stories. I 
have seen nearly all these, and more, ascribed in German to two 
children, Kordel. und. Michel, whose stupidity has become pro- 
verbial in their own land. 1 am told that schoolboys are conver- 
sant with a Greek version, and that they construe a tale of the 
man who, when asked if his house was a good one, brought one 
of the stones as a sample. 

The Assyndiach was once sent by his wife to take her spinning- 
wheel to the turner's to get it mended. In coming back the wind 
set the wheel in motion, so he threw the whole thing down, saying, 
•* Go, and welcome." 

He struck across the hills, and reaching home, asked his wife 
if she had got her wheel yet. 

" No," said she. 

" Well, I thought not," said he, " for I took the short cut." 


3. A very similar story was told me by an old HigHander in 

An Inverness wife went to market with a creelfdl of balls of 
worsted, which she had spent a long time in spinning. As she 
walked along, one of the balls fell oat, and the end being fast to 
the others, the ball followed, rolling and bumping along the road. 

The wife turned round, and seeing the ball said, " Oh, you 
can go alone ! Then you may all walk." And she emptied her 
creel, and tied the ends of the thread to it, and marched into 
Inverness without ever looking behind her ; but when she got 
there, she had but a ravelled hesp. 

4. A traveller stopped at his (the Assynt man) house to ask 
the hour. He lifted a large sun-dial from its stand, and put it 
into his lap, that he might see for himself. 

5. Seeing a four-wheeled carriage, he exclaimed, " Well done 
the little wheels, the big ones won't overtake them to-day." 
(Which story is told of Sir Andrew Wylie in Galt*s novel). 

6. He once took his child to be baptized ; the minister said he 
doubted if he were fit to hold the child for baptism. 

'^ Oh, to be sure I am, though it was as heavy as a stirk.'' 

This^nswer shewing little wit> the minister asked him how 
many commandments there were. 

"Twenty," he said boldly. 

** Oh, that will never do ; go back and learn your questions " 
(Shorter Catechism). 

Half way home he met a man. 

" How many commandments will there be ? There must be 
thirty, for the minister was not content with twenty." 

He was set to rights on this point, and turning back (it was 
winter), he thought the clergyman would not refuse him this 

He had slipped the child into his great-coat sleeve, and tied 
up the caff with a string; but the string got loose, and the bairn 
fell out, and the clever father never heard it, for it fell into a snow 
wreath. In the church he discovered his loss, and said to the 
clergyman, " I am very sorry, but not a bit of Kenneth have 1 " 
(no wise man will ever name an unchristened child). The un- 


lackj infant nearly died in the snow, and I do not know that the 
sacrament was administered to it. 

7. The Assynt man once went to Tain to buy meal. Outside 
the town, a man asked bim if he knew what o'clock it was. 
" Last time it was 12. If it is striking still, it must be at 50." 

8. His wife, like the Mutter in the story of Michel and Cor- 
delia, had all the wit of the family, and was much distressed at 
his stupidity and simplicity. 

He was carrying two bags of cheeses to market for her one 
day ; one bag burst, and he saw all the cheeses rolling fast down 
hill. Pleased at their newly discovered power of locomotion* he 
undid the second bag, and sent its contents after the first, and 
walked on himself to market. When he got there, he asked if 
his dairy stuff had not turned up yet ? 

" No,*' said the neighbours. So he waited all day, and then 
returned to tell his wife, who, guessing his mistake, bid him look 
at the bottom of the hill, where he was enchanted to find the 
missing cheeses. 

9. Seeing a hare for the first time, he backed from it, repeat- 
ing the Lord's Prayer, till he fell into a duck pond, froim which 
his wife drew him with difiSculty. 

This last adventure is like the '* Seven Swabians" m Grimm, 
and that is like the Hunting of the Hare, a very old ballad ; and 
all this was gathered from people whose names are not given, bat 
who belong to Sutherland, and whose occupations generally are 
such as to make it probable that their stories are what they pro- 
fess to be — traditions. 

They are a people whose native language is Gaelic, but wbo 
generally speak English. 

10. I have another version of the story in Gaelic, from Islay, 
called " FiGHEADAiR MOB BAILS NA Gailleabain," '< The Big 
"Weaver of the Strangers' Town," written by Hector MacLean, 
from which I translate the following extracts, told by Alexander 
Macalister, Bow more : — 

There was a poor woman before now, and she had a son, and 
he was reckoned a kind of leith-bhubbaidh — half booby. 


A ship was broken on the shore, and it was a cargo of wood 
that was on board, and he stole some flancaiciien (planks, made 
into Gaelic) out of her, and he hid them in the gaud. Much of 
the wood was stolen and there was raknsachadh, a ransacking 
going on. The carlin knew, nam fearachadh eud, if they should 
ask her son if he had stolen the planks, that he would say he bad 
stolen them ; so in the morning before he awoke, she put on a 
pot, and she made milk porridge, and she took the porridge with 
her, and she sprinkled it on the doors and the door-posts. When 
her son got up he went out, and he saw the porridge on the door. 

" What is here ? " said he. 

"Is it thus thou art?" said his motlfer; ''didst thou not 
notice the shower of milk porridge at all?" 

*' I did not notice it ; this is a marvellous thing. A shower 
of milk porridge ! " said the son. 

On a day after that, all about the place were called on to be 
questioned about the wood. They asked him if he had stolen 
much ; and he said that he had. 

" When didst thou steal it ? »* 

** Have you any knowledge of the day that the porridge 
shower was?" 

*' There is enough! there need not be any more speaking 
made to thee, be thou gone.** 

At the end of a while, when all talk was past, he went and he 
took the wood and he made innsbeabh (?) for the house, and 
OREADHAL, a Cradle, so that when he should marry and he should 
have children, that the cradle might be ready. He married, and 
he was a while married, and he had no children at all. 

His wife, and his mother, and his mother-in-law were in with 
him. On a day that there was, he was weaving, and what should 
SFAi., the shuttle, do, but cast meid (?) a weight into the cradle. 
His wife got up, and she belaboured her palms, and she roared 
and she cried. His mother got up, and his mother-in-law, and 
they belaboured their palms, and they roared and they cried, 
" The booby ! without reason. If he were there he were dead ; 
was there ever heard tell of a man gun mohathachadh without 
perception, like him !" 

He got up at last, when he was sbarbh, worn out, with the 
roaring and the scolding. '' There shall not come a stop on my 

VOL. IL 2 C 


foot, or rest 4>ti my head, till I hit upon three more silly than 
you.** And he went away. 

The first fools he met were the same as in the Ross-shire 
version, a man and a woman trying to put a cow on a house top 
to eat ooiRT, corn, which was growing on the roof. He asked 
what they would give him if he would make the cow eat it below ; 
and when they said that could not be done, he cut the com with 
his knife and threw it down, and got fifty marks. 

And here let me point out that there is nothing impossible in 
this nonsense. In the first place, com and hay do grow on 
thatched houses in the West Highlands, in Norway, and in Lap- 
land, and it is by no means uncommon to see goats browsing 
there. I have seen a Lapp mowing his crop of hay on the top 
of the best house in the village of Karasjok, a log-house which 
is occupied in winter and deserted in suHuuer. 

I helped the people at their hay harvest one day, and tried to 
teach them the use of a fork. Their manner was to gather us 
much of the short grass as they could grasp in their arms, and 
carry it to the end of the field. I and my comrade cut two 
forked sticks, and, beginning at the end of the swathe, pushed the 
heap before us, doing as much at one journey as the Lapps at 
half-a-dozen trips. But we had fallen in with one of the old 
school. He was an old fellow with long tangled elf-locks and a 
scanty beard, dressed iu a deerskin shirt full of holes, and exceed- 
ingly mangy, for the hair had been worn off in patches all oyer. 
He realized my idea of a seedy Brownie, a gmagach with long 
hair on his head ; an old wrinkled face, and his body covered with 
hair. He gave us one glance of sovereign contempt, his daughter 
a condescending smile, and then they each gathered another arm- 
ful of grass, and toddled away, leaving the forked sticks where 
they were, as new-fangled contrivances, unworthy of the notice 
of sensible men. 

And let any inventor say whether this is not human nature 
all over the world : but to go on. 

He went on till he came to some men who were building a 
dyke, with their feet bare. There came a shower of rain, and he 
sat in the shelter of a dyke, and when it was clear they sat there, 
and there was no talk of getting up. 

" It is astonishing to me," said he, " that yoa should keep on 


sitting, now tbat it is dry. It did not astonish me that you should 
go to shelter in the rain, but it must be that you are not diligent 
for your master when you are sitting while you ought to be work- 

" That is not it/' said thejr ; " it is that our legs are all mingled 
together, and not one of us can recognize his own legs.'' 

" What will you give me if I make you recognize your own 

" What wilt thou ask ?" 

''Half a hundred mabg, marks." 

" Thou shalt have that cha bu gheamha dhuinn air moran 
BABBAGHD. It wcro no pledge for us by much more to be thus 
away from our work." 

He went down to a bramble bush, and he cut one as long and 
as strong as he could see. He came up and thug e ballsadh 
ou MATH TEANN ORBA, and he gave a good tight raking at them 
about their legs, and it was not long till every one knew his own 

(There is a double meaning in this which cannot be translated. 
To know means also to feel). 

"Though our legs are sore and scratched," said they, " it is 
well for us to be able to go to our work rather than be seated 

" You are strange enough," said he, " but I will go further." 

And then he goes on to a house, and plays tricks to some 
people there, and says his name is Saw te eveb mt like. And 
when the old man of the house came home, he found his people 
tied upon tables, and said, " What's the reason of this?" ''Saw 
ye ever my like?" said the first. "No, never," said he. And 
went to the second, " What 's the reason of this ?" said he. 

" Saw ye ever my like ?" said the second. 

" I saw thy like in the kitchen," said he ; and he went to the 
third. " What is the reason of this ?" said he. " Saw ye ever 
my like ?" said the other. " I have seen plenty of thy likes," said 
he, " but never before this day." And then he understood that 
some one had been playing tricks on his people, and pursued ; but 
the weaver played him a trick, which is almost the same as that 
which is given in Norse Tales as part of the adventures of the 
Master Thief, at page 286, second edition. 


And so here, aa in almost every case, the popnlar tales of the 
West Highlands join in with those of other countries, and tarn 
out to be as old as the hills. 

Now surely this has some reason and some foundation in fact. 
When so many popular tales agree in describing a set of strangers, 
who were fools, does it not seem as if each land had once been 
occupied by a race who appeared to the new comers as foolish as 
the old Lapp haymaker seemed to me. 



From Hector MacLean, Islay. 


THUIRT an lach bheag 's i 'san toll, 
*« D^ 'm fonn a th' air a' chat ghlas ?" 
« Fonn math is deagh shaod 
Gmn faodadh thusa tighinm a mach." 


*^ 'S mor m* eagal romh na dubhain chrom, 
A th' agad ann am bonn do chas 
Mharbh thu mo phiuthrag an d^ 
'S fhuair mi feia air eigin as." 

** Gha mhis' a bha 'sin ach cat mhic Iain Buaigh 
A b' àbhaist a bhi magadh chearc, 
Ghoid i 'n caise ^bha 'sa chliabh, 
'S dh 'ith i 'n t-iasg a bha 'sa Phreas." 


Said the mousie in the hole, 
"What is that purr of the grey cat ?" 
" A good purr and a pleasant mood, 
That thou mightest come out of that." 

* You speak of Nursery Rhymes. The following is a very 

trifling one, which I remember myself, and have never been able 

to forget. 

Hector MacLeav, Islay, June 29. 




Great is my fear for the crooked hooks 
That thou hast got in the sole of thy feet ; 
Thou killedst my sister yesterday, 
And I myself got hardly quit" 


That was not me, but John Roy's cat, 
That used to be the hen's distress : 
She stole the cheese, that was in the creel. 
And ate the fish that was in the pres& " 

This old rhyme has become proverbial. A part of it was sent 
as a proverb from Inverary. J. F. C. 



From the Brothers MacCraw, North TJist, 1859. 

HHHEEE was once, long ago, a scholar ; and when he 

•^ had done learning, his master said that he must 

now answer three questions, or have his head taken off. 

The scholar was to have time to make ready, and being 

in a great fright, he went to a miller who was the 

master's brother, and asked his aid. 

The miller disguised himself and went instead of 

the scholar, and the first question put to him was 

this : — " How many ladders would reach to the sky Ì" 
" Now," said the narrator, " can you answer that V 
" One, if it were long enough." 
" That's right." The second was : — 
" Where is the middle of the world V* 
So the miller laid down a rod, and he said : — 

" Here, set a hoop about the world, and thou wilt find 

the middle here." 

The third was: — *'What is the world's worth?" 
"Well," said the miller, "the Saviour was sold for 

thirty pieces of silver, I am sure the world is worth no 


'^Oh," said the brother who was riding beside us, 

" that 's not the way I have heard it The second 



" How long will it take to go round the world V 
And the miller said : — 

" If I were as swift as the sun and moon, I would 
run it in twenty-four hours." 

" And the third was : — 

" What is my thought ?'' 

And the miller answered : — 

" I can tell ; Thou thinkest that I am thv scholar, 
but I am thy brother, the miller." 

This was told to me September 1, 1859, in North Uist, as 
I walked along the road. There are- a great many similar 
wise saws current, which are generally fathered on George 
Buchanan, the tutor of James YI. 

The following are a few riddles of the same kind, collected at 
Gairloch, for Osgood Mackenzie, Esq., by Mr. Donald MacDonald : 

1. Whether is older, the man or the beard Ì 

The beard is the older, for the work of creation was 
all finished before the man, and the beard was on the 
goat before the man was. 

2. What is the wood that is not bent nor straight 
Sawdust. It is neither bent nor straight. 

This riddle forms part of a very long and curious story 
which I heard told at luverary, at Easter, 1859, and which is 
written down. 

3. What is the thing which the Creator never saw, 
and that kings see but seldom, and that I see every 

There is but one Creator, for that he never saw his 
Hke. King's are but scarce, for that they see each 
other but rarely ; but I see my own Hke every day that 
I get up, — other sinners like myself 

The riddle is very well known ; but this is another view of it. 

4. There were three soldiers coming home on fur- 


lough, and their three wives with them ; they came to a 
river over which there was a ferry, hut the boat would 
take with it but two together. The question is, how 
did they make the passage, for no one of them would 
trust his wife with another man, unless he was himself 
beside her? 

Two women went over first, one went on shore, 
and the other came back with the boat, and she took 
the third with her. One of them went back and she 
stood beside her own husband, and the two husbands 
of the women who were over went back with the boat ; 
one of them went on shore, and the wife of the man 
who was in the boat went into her along with him, and 
they went to the other side. His wife went on shore, 
and the man who was yonder came in the boat ; then 
the two men went over ; then there were three men 
over, and a woman; this woman took over the other 
women by the way of one and one ; and there seem 
to be more solutions than one for the problem. 

This puzzle, in various shapes, is well known, e,g. 
the Fox, the Goose, and the Bag of Com, 


1. C, Go dhinbh is sine an duine na an fheusag ? 

F, Is sine an fheusag; oir bha obair a chruthachaidh oile 
deanta roimh an duine, agus bha feusag air na gabhair man robh an 
dnine ann. 

2. C. Giod e am fiodh Dach 'eil cuagach no direach ? 
F, Min an t-saibh ; cha'n 'eil i cuagach no direach. 

3. C, Giod e an md nach fac an Gruithfhear riamh ; is nach faic 
righrean ach anminic ; agus a chi mise na h'uile latha ? 

F, Gha'n 'eil Gruithfhear ann ach a h'aon ; uime sin cha'n fhaic 
e coimeas da fein ; cha'n eil righrean ach tearc, uime sin cha'n fhaic 
iad a cheile ach anminic; ach mise chimi mo chglmeas fein na h'uile 
latha dh'eirears mi,— peacaich eile mar mi fein. 


4. C Bha triair shaighdearan a tighin dachaidh air forlach, agus 
an triair mhnathan aca maille riu. Thainig iad gn abhainn air an 
robh aisig — ach cha tugadh am bata leatha comhla ach dithis. Se a 
cbeisd cionnus a rinn iad an t-aisig, 's na(^ faodadh duine dhiu a 
bhean earbsa ris an duine eile gun e fein a bhi lamb rithe? 

F, Cbaidb dithis bhan a null an toiseach ; cbaidh te dhiu air tir 
aens thainig an te 'eile air a h*ai8 leis a bhàta agus thug i leaiha an 
tritheamh te. Chaidh te dliiu air a h-ais agus sheas i lamb ri 'daine fein 
agus thainig dithis dhaoine nam ban a bha thall air an ais leis abhàta ; 
chaidh fear dhiu air tir agus chaidh bean an duine a bh'anns a bhàta 
a steach innte maille ris agus chaidh iad gus an taobh eile. Chaidh 
a bhean air tir agus thainig an daine a bha thall anns a bhata ; 
chaidh an dithis dhaoine an sin a null. Bha an sin an triuir dhaoine 
thall agus bean ; thug a bhean so a lion te is te a null na nmathan 

Donald M'Donald. 

The following are a few riddles, collected by Hector MacLean ; 
most of them from a little school-girl in Islaj : — 


Eow and noise and racket 

About the market town, 
It is no bigger than a flea, 

An' money it brings home. 

Lint seed. 

St-ioram starom stararaich 
Air feadh a bhaile mhargaidh 
Cha mhoth* e na deargann 
Is bheir e dhachaidh airgiod. 

Fras lin— Linseed. 


Two feet down, and three feet up, 

And the head of the living in the mouth of the dead. 

A man with a porridge pot on his head. 

BIDDLEa. 395 

Da 'chas tiaoa 'a tri chasan shnas 
*S oeann a' bheo am beul a' mhairbh. 

H-^aon aguB poit air a cheann. 


I see to me, over the Tiill, 
A little one with a cut in his nose, 
Two very long teeth in his jaw, 
And a tatter of tow about his tail. 

A hare. 

Chi mi thngam thar a' bheimi 
Fear beag 's beum as a shròin 
Da fhiacaill fhada 'na chir 
*S cirb de bhlaigh Bn ma thòin. 



I see to me, over the fall, 

A little curly hasty one ; 

A tuck of his shirt under his belt, 

And the fall of the world under his power. 

Death. — ^This portrait varies from the usual sketches. 

Chi mi thngam thar an eaa 
Fear beag cuimeanach cas 
Cirb d'a l^e fo a chrios 
'S Um an t-saoghail fo a los. 



I see to me, I see from me, 

Two miles and ten over the sea, 

The man of the green boatie. 

And his shirt sewn with a thread of red 

The rainbow. 


Chi mi thngam, chi mi bhnami 
Da mhile dheug thar a' choidii. 
Fear a' choitilein uaine, 
Is snathainn dearg a* fnaghal alpine. 

Am boghafrois. 


Sheep small, and very small, 
That have been thrice shorn of all, 
On the hill that is farthest out, 
Where every little saint will be. 

The stars. 

Caora mhion, mhionachag, 

Air an treas lomachag, ^ 

Air an t-sliabh is fhaide muigh, 

Far am bi gach ionachag. 

Na reultan. 


The bard, the bard, the Frenchman, 
Behind the house a wheezing. 

The. nettle. — ^The meaning of this is not very clear. 

An fhile 'n fhile Flirangach 
Gnl an tighe 's sreann aice. 

An fheanndagacli. 


A bent crooked stick between two glens. 
When moves the crooked bent stick 
Then move the two glens. 

Scales and balance. 

Maide crom cam eadar da gbleann, 
Ma<ibaracba8 am maide crom cam 
Carachaidh an da ghleann. 

Mddh is sgàlain. 




Three red kine on the bank of the sea, 

That never drank a drop of the water of Alba. 

Three dogrose-hips. 

Tri ba dearga 'chois na fairge, 

Nach d' 51 deur do dh^ nisg' Alba riabh. 

Tri mucagan failm. 
There seems to be a pun in this Alba of Scotland or wandering. 


Three spotted kine under a stone, 

A drop of their milk never was milked. 

Three snakes. 

Tri ba breaca cliois na leaca, 

Nach do bhleodhnadh dear d'am bainne riabh. 

Tri nathraichean. 

Four shaking and four running. 
Two finding the way. 
And one roaring. 

A cow — feet udder, eyes, and moutL 

Ceathrar air chrith 's ceathrar 'nan rinth, 
Dithisd a' deanadh an rathaid 
'S h-aon a' glaodhaich. 

A' bhò. Ceithir casan, ceithir ballain, da shuil 's a benl. 


A little clear house, and its two doors shut. 

An egg. 

Tigh beag soillear 's a dha dhoxtisd dtiinte. 

An iibh. 



Two strings as long as each other. 

A river's banks. 

Da thaod cho fhada. 

Da thaobh na h-abhann. 


Eounder than a ball, longer than a ship. 

% A clew. 

'S cminn' e na ball 's fhaid' e na long. 



1 can hold it myself in my fist, 

And twelve men with a rope cannot hold it 

An egg. 

Cnmaidh mi fein aW dhom e, 
'S cha chum da fhear dheng air ròp* e. 

An ubh. 


A great crooked stick in yonder wood, 
And not a thing in it, 
But clang bo clang. 

A weaving loom. 

Maide mor cam *b a' choill ud thall 
'S gnn aona mhir ann 

Ach gliong bo gliong. 

Beairt fhighe. 



It travels on the little meads, 
It travels on the midden steads. 
It travels on the lengthened riggs, 
And home it cometh late at night 

The reaping hook. 

Siubhlaidh e na letmagan, 
Siubhlaidh e na breunagan, 
Siubhlaidh e 'n t-imire fada, 
'S thig e dhachaidh anmoch. 

An corran buana. 


Clean sour (salt or of the field) water without brine 
or salt. 

Water in a field. — There is a pun which cannot 
be rendered. 

Uisge glan goirt gun sàile gan salann. 

Uisg' aim an claiseachan a' ghoirt. 


A rod in the wood of Mac Alister, 

And neither yew nor ivory, 

Nor tree of wood in the universe. 

And the deuce take him that it measures not. 

A snake. 

Slat an colli Mhic Alasdair, 

'S cha 'n iabhar i 's cha n' eabhar i, 

'S cha chraobh de dh* fhiodh an domhain 1, 

'S an deomhan air an fhear nach tomhaia i. 




A black cock is in yonder town, 

Feather black, feather brown, 

Feathers twelve in the point of his wing, 

And more than threescore (thirsts) in his back. 

A bottle of whisky. — ^The pun is on " ite," a feather 
— or thirst 

Coileach dubh 's a' bhail' ud thall, 
lie dhubh is ite dhonn 
Da ite dheug am bàrr a sgeith 
M 'S corr is tri fichead 'na dhriom. 

Botall uisge bheatba. 


Guess-guess, whelp, son of the son of guessing, 
Twelve chains in the very middle, 
Four ties, guess-guess. 

A team of horses. 

Tomb tomb a chuilean 'ic 'ic Thomh 
Da sblabbraidh dheug 'san teis meadboin 
Geitbir cbeangbail tomb tomb. 

An t-seisreacb. 

(Seisreacb means, literally, a team of six horses ; and this seems 
to be the sense of the puzzle.) 


A little bit cogie in yonder wood. 

Its mouth below, and it spills no drop. 

A cow's udder. 

Miodaran beag 's a cboill ud tball, 
'S a bheul foidbe, 's cha doirt e deur. 

Utb na boine. 

RIÌ>DL£S. 401 


A little gold well in the inidst of this town, 
Three golden endd and a cover of glas& 

A watch. 

TolMmm òir am meadhon a bhaile so 
Trì chinn oir Ì3 comhia ghloine ris. 

IJaireadair. — Watch. 


Clattering without, clattering within, 

A box fpur-comered, and brimful of clattering. 

A weaver^s shuttle. 

Gliogaran a maigh, gliogaran a stigh, 
Bocsa oeithir cheamach 's e Ian ghliogaran. 

Spàl figheadair. — A weaver's shultte. 


No bigger it is than a barleycorn, 
And it will cover the board of the king. 

The stone (apple) of the eye. 

Cha mhoth* e na grainean eoma 
'S comhdachaidh e bord an righ. 

Clach na suil. 


A small wife come to this town. 
And well she makes a " drandan ; " 
A cap of the chochiillainn on, 
And yellow coat of blanket. 

A bee. 

VOL. IL 2d 


Bean bheag a* tigh 'n do 'n bhaile so, 
'S gva math ami dranndan, 
Currachd do 'n cho chullainn urra, 
'S cbta buidhe plangaid. 



A small wife coining to this town, 
And creagada creag on her back. 
Feet on her, and she handless, 
And loads of chaff in her chest 

A hen. 

Bean bbeag a' tigh 'n do 'n bhaile eo^ 
'S creagada creag air a main, 
Caaan nrra *s i gun làmhan 
'S nltacban càthadh 'na h-nchd. 



A shaving upon the floor, 
And well it makes a humming, 
A yard of the Saxon yew, 
And bow of the yew of France. 

The fiddle. 

Sliseag air an urlar, 

'S gnr math a ni i dranndan, 

Slat 'n iubhar Shaaonnach, * 

A *s bogha 'n inbhar FhrangadL 



It came out of flesh, and has no flesh within, 
It tells a story without ever a tongue. 

A pen. 


Thiùnig e a feoil 's cha n* eil feoil ann, 
lonsidh e naii^heachd 'a gua teanga 'na cbieann. 



A golden candlestick on a two-leaved board, 
Guess it now, come quickly guess it 


Coinnlear òir air bord da shlisei^, 
Tomhais a pis e, *s tomhais gu dis e. 

Am bàs. 


A black horse and a brown horse, sole to sole, 
Swifter is the black horse than the brown. 

Water and the mill-wheel. 

Each dabh is each donn bonn ri bonn, 

*S laùthe 'n t-each dubh na 'n t-each donn. 

An t-uisge *s roth a' mhuilinn. 


Twelve brethren in one bed. 

And no one of them at the front or the wall. 

Spokes of the spinning-wheel. 

Da bhrathair dheug 'san aon leaba, 

'S gun h-aon din aig a* bheingidh na aig a bhalla. 

Roth na caibhealach. 


Three whales so black, so black, three whales coloured, 

Whale in the east, whale in the west> and punish him 

that guesses not 



Tri mncan dnbha, dnbha, tri mncan datha, datba; 

Muc an ear, 's muc an iar, 's pian air an fhear nach tomhais e. 

Na tonnan. 


A small house out in the West, 
And five hundred doors in it. 

A sieve. 

Tigh beag 'san aird an iar 
'S coig ciad dorus air« 



It is higher than the king's house, 
It is finer than silk. 


'S aird e na tigh an righ, 
'S min' e na'n sioda. 

An toit. 


The son on the house top, 
And the father unhorn. 

Smoke before flame. 

Am mac air muin an tighe 
'San t-atbair gun bhreith. 

An toit ma'n gabh an gealbhan. 


A man went eyeless to a tree where there were apples, 
He didn't leave apples on it, and he didn't take apples 

There were two, and he took one. 


Chaidh fear'gan smiean 'ionnsuidh craobh air an robh ubhlan 
Cha d' fhag e ubhlaa urra 'a cha d' thag e abhlan dith. 

'Se da ubhal a bh* air a' chraoibh 's thag e h-aon leis. 


Totaman, totaman, little black man, 
Three feet under, and bonnet of wood. 

(A potato) pot with the lid in. 

Totaman, totaman, duine beag dugh, 

Tri chasan foldhe, agus boinDeid air de dh' fhiodh. 

Poit agas brod innte. 


I went to the wood and I sought it not, 

I sat on a hill and I found it not, 

And because I found it not, I took it home with nie. 

A thorn in the foot 

Chaidh mi *n choille *8 cha d' iarr mi e, 

Shoidh mi air cnoc 's cha d' fhoair mi e, 

'S o*n nach d' fhoair mi e thug mi learn dachaidh e. 

Bior ann an cois. 



A waveless well, it holds its fill of flesh and blood. 

A tailor's thimble. 

Tobar gon tonn, camaidh e Ikn de dh' fhtdl 's de dh' fheoii. 

Meuran tailleir. 


Blacky, blacky, out at the door and a human bone in 
her mouth. 

A shoe on a foot. 


Dubhag, dubhag maeh an donisd *8 cnaimh dume *om. beul. 

Bròg air cois, 


Red below, black in the middle, and white above. 

Fire, griddle, and oatcake, 

Dearg foidhe, dagh *na inheadhon, *8 geal as a chionn. 

An gealbhan a* ghreideal *8 an t-aran, 


I can go over on a bridge of glass. 
And I can come over on a bridge of glass, 
And if the glass bridge break, 
There 's none in Islay, nor in Eirinn, 
Who can mend the bridge of glass. 


Theid mi nunn air drochald ghloine, 
'S thig mi nail air drochaid ghloine 
'S ma bhrisdeas an drochaid ghloine 
Cha 'n 'eil an He na 'n Eirinn 
Na ohàraa an drochaid ghloine. 



A brown stag in the hill, and his ear on fiie. 

The gun. 

Damh donn *s a* bheinn *8 a cbloaa ra theinidh. 



I will go. out between two woods, 
And I will oome in between two lochs, 

A pair of paUs, 


Theid mi mach eadar dha fhiodh, 
'S thig mi stigh eadar dha loch. 

Na cuinneagan. 


A gzeen genUewoman behind tlie door. 
A bioom, usually made of a bunch of some plant 

Bean nasal naine ctil an doruisd. 

An gaia sgnabaidh. 


Wiggle waggle about the river, 
Iron its head, horse its neck, 
Man its tail 

A fishing-rod. 

Driobhal drabhal feadh na h-^ibhann, lanmn a ebeann 
Each a mhnineal duin' a thòn. 

Slat iasgaich. 


A sharp sharp sheep, and her entrails trailing. 

A big needle. 

Caora bhiorach bhiorach, 'b a mionach alaodadh fithe. 



A red red sheep, red mad. 

The tongue. 

Caora dhearg dhearg, air an dearg choitheacb. 

An teanga. 






I have a puzzle for thee : 
It isn't thy hair, and it isn't thy locks, 
It isn't a bit of the bits of thy trunk, 
It is upon thee, and thou art no heavier.. 

The man's name. — ^The GaeHc expression 
being, " What name is upon thee ? ' 

Tha toimhseagan agam ort, 
Cha n' e t-fbionna 's cha 'n e t-fhalt, 
Cha n' e ball de bhaHaibh do chnirp, 
*S tha e ort 's cha truimid thu e. 

Ainm dttine. 

Got these puzzles, riddles, or toimseagain, from Flora Mac- 
Intyi'e, and a little girl, Catherine MacArthur, at Ballygrant, 
twelve years of age. 


AiB AN T-SLiABH IS FHAiDB KuiOH, the farthest off hill or 

Beum, a piece or bit. 

Blaioh LÌN, linen cloth. 

Breunaqan ; this word may mean every filthy piece of gronnd 
over which the sickle passes. 

Cathadh, gen. of càith, com seeds. 

CÌE, the fore-part of the jams. 

CoiTiLEAN, a garment somewhat of one piece, serving as the 
whole clothes ; or perhaps a little boat or skiff, which suggests 
the form of the rainbow. 

Gas, fast. 

OuiBNEANACH, curlcd in ringlets. 

Fhile or He, or perhaps eibheal or eibhle, an emb^r. 

loNACHAQ may be aonachag, from aon, a solitary little thing. 


LoMACHAQ, a bareness, from lorn. 
Los, power of destruction. 

It will be observed that these riddles are all of a peculiar 
kind, such as the well known 

" Polly with a white pettiecoat and a red nose, 
The longer she stands, the shorter she grows.'* 

J. F. C. 



From Alexander MacNeill, fisherman, Then Tangval, Barra. 

rpHE Fair Chie^ son of the King of Eirinn, went 
-*- away with his great company to hold court, and keep 
company with him. A woman met him, whom, they 
called the Dame of the Fine Green Kirtle ; she asked 
him to sit a while to play at the cards ; and they sat 
to play the cards, and the Fair Chief drove the game 
against the Dame of the Fine Green Kirtle. 

" Ask the fruit of the game," said the Wife of the 
Fine Green Kirtle. 

'' I think that thou hast not got a fruit ; I know 
not of it," said the Fair Chief, son of the King of 

" On the morrow be thou here, and I will meet 
thee," said the Dame of the Fine Green Kirtle. 

** I wiU be (here)," said the Fair Chie£ 

On the morrow he met her, and they began at the 
cards, and she won the game. 

" Ask the fruit of the game," said the Fair Chief. 

" I," said the Dame of the Fine Green Kirtle, " am 
laying thee under speUs, and under crosses, under holy 
herdsmen of quiet travelling, wandering woman, the 
little calf, most feeble and powerless, to take thy head 


and thine ear and thy wearing of life from off thee, if 
thou takest rest by night or day ; where thou takest 
thy breakfast that thou take not thy dinner, and where 
thou takest thy dinner that thou take not thy supper, 
in whatsoever place thou be, until thou findest out in 
what place I may be under the four brown quarters of 
the world."* 

She took a napkin from her pockety and she shook 
it, and there was no knowing what side she had taken, 
or whence she came. 

He went home heavily-minded, black sorrowfully ; 
he put his elbow on the board, and his hand under his 
cheek, and he let out a sigh. 

" What is it that ails thee, son 1 " said the king of 
Eirinn ; " Is it under spells that thou art Ì — but 
notice them not ; I will raise thy spells off thee. I 
have a smithy on shore, and ships on sea ; so long as 
gold or silver lasts me, stock or dwelling, I will set it 
to thy loosing till I raise these speUs off thee." 

" Thou shalt not set them,'' said he ; *' and, father, 
thou art high-minded. Thou wouldst set that away 
from thyself and thou wilt lose all that might be there. 
Thou wilt not raise the spells ; thy kingdom will go to 
want and to poverty, and that will not raise the spells ; 
and thou wilt lose thy lot of men ; but keep thou thy 
lot of men by thyself, and if I go I shall but lose 

' So it was in the morning of the morrow's day ho 
went away without dog, without man, without calf, 
without child. 

He was going, and going, and journeying; there 
was blackening on his soles, and holes in his shoes ; the 
black clouds of night coming, and the bright, quiet 

^ Tbis sort of incantation is common, and I am not certain 
that it is quite correctly rendered. 


clouds of the day going away^ and without his finding 
a place of staying, or rest for him. He spent a -week 
from end to end without seeing house or castle, or any 
one thing. He was grown sick; sleepless, restless, 
meatless, drinkless, walking all the week He gave a 
glance from him, and what should he see but a castla 
He took towards it, and round about it, and there was 
not so much as an auger hole in the house. His 
"dudam" and his "dadam" fell with trouble and 
wandering, and he turned back, heavily-minded, black 
sorrowfully. He was taking up before him, and what 
should he hear behind him but a shout. 

" Fair Chief, son of the king of Eirinn, return : 
there is the feast of a day and year awaiting thee ; the 
meat thou thinkest not (of), and the drink thou think- 
est not of ; the meat thou thinkest on, and the drink 
thou thinkest on," and he returned. 

There was a door for every day in the year in the 
house ; and there was a window for every day in the 
year in it. It was a great marvel for him, the house 
that he himself had gone round about, and without so 
much as an auger hole in it, that door and window 
should be in it for every day in the year when he came 

He took in to it. Meat was set in its place for 
using, drink in its place of drinking, music in its place 
for hearing, and they were plying the feast and the 
company with solace and pleasure of mind, himself 
and the fine damsel that cried after him in the palace. 

A bed was made for him in the castle, with pillowy 
with a hollow in the middle ; warm water was put on 
his feet, and he went to lie down. When he rose up 
in the morning, the board was set over with each meat 
that was best ; and he was thus for a time without 
his feeling the time pass by. 


She stood in the door. " Fair Chief, son of the 
king of Eirinn, in what state dost thou find thyself, 
or how art thou ?" said the damsel of the castle, 

" I am well,*' said ho. 

" Dost thou know at what time thou earnest here?" 
said she. 

" I think I shall complete a week, if I be here this 
day," said he. 

"A quarter is just out to-day," said she. *'Thy 
meat, thy drink, or thy bed will not grow a. bit the 
worse than they are till it pleases thyself to return 

There he was by himself till he was thinking that 
he had a month out. At this time she stood in the 

" Yes ! Fair Chief, how dost thou find thyself this 
day Ì " said she. 

" Eight well," said he. 

** In what mind dost thou find thyself? " said she. 

"I will tell thee that," said he j "if my two 
hands could reach yonder peaked hill, that I would set 
it on yon other bluff hilL" 

"Dost thou know at what time thou earnest 
hither?" said she. 

" I am thinking that I have completed a month 
here," said he. 

" The end of the two years is out just this day,** 
said she. 

" I will not believe that the man ever came on the 
surface of the world that would gain victory of my- 
self in strength or lightness," said he. 

" Thou art silly," said she ; " there is a little band 
here which they call An Fhinn the Een, and they will 
get victory of thee. The man never came of whom 
they would not get victory." 


" Morsel I will not eat, draught I will not drink, 
sleep there will not come on my eye, till I reach wliere 
they are, and I know who they are," said he. 

" Fair Chief be not so silly, and let that lightness 
pass from thy head ; stay as thou art, for I know thou 
wilt return," said she. 

" I will not make stay by night or day, until I reach 
them," said he. 

" The day is soft and misty," said she, ** and thou 
art setting it before thee that thou wilt go. The Feen 
are in such a place, cmd they have a net fishing trout 
Thou shalt go over where they are. Thou wilt see the 
Feen on one side, and Fionn alone on the other sida 
Thou shalt go where he is, and thou shalt bless him. 
Fionn will bless thee in the same way ; thou shedt ask 
service from him ; he will say that he has no service 
for thee, now that the Feen are strong enough, and 
he will not put a man out. He will say, * What name 
is upon thee 1 ' Thou shalt answer, the name thou 
didst never hide, An Gruagach ban Mac Eigh Eireann* 
Fionn will say then, * Though I should not want of a 
man, why should I not give service to the son of thy 
father/ Be not high minded amongst the Feeantan. 
Gome now, and thou shalt have a napkin that is here, 
and thou shalt say to Fionn, whether thou be alive or 
dead to put thee in it when comes its need." 

He went away, and he reached (the place) where 
the Feen were ; he saw them there fishing trout, the 
rest on the one side, and Fionn on the other side 
alone. He went where Fionn was, and he blessed 
him. Fionn blessed him in words that were no worse. 

" I heard that there were such men, and I came to 
you to seek hire from you," said the Fair Chief. 

" Well, then, I have no need of a man at the time," 
said Fionn. " What name is upon thee V 


" My name I never hid. The Gruagach Ban, son 
of the king of Eireann/' said ha 

" Bad ! bad ! for all the ill luck that befel me ! 
where I got my nourishment young, and my dwelling 
for my old age ; who should get service unless thy 
father's son should get it ; hut be not high minded 
amongst the JFeeantan," said Fionn. "Come hither 
and catch the end of the net^ and drag it along with 

He began dragging the net with the Feen. He 
cast an eye above him, and what should he see but 
a deer. 

" Were it not better for the like of you, such swift, 
strong, light, young men to be hunting yonder deer, 
than to be fishing any one pert trout that is here, and 
that a morsel of fish or a mouthful of juice will not 
satisfy you rather than yonder creature up above you — 
a morsel of whose flesh, and a mouthful of whose broth 
will suffice you," said the Fair Chief, son of the king of 

" K yonder beast is good, we are seven times tired 
of him," said Fionn, " and we know him well enougL" 

" Well, I heard myself that there was one man 
of you called Luathas (Swiftness) that could catch the 
swift March wind, and the swift March wind could not 
catch," said the Fair Chie£ 

" Since it is thy first request, we will send to seek 
him," said Fionn. 

He was sent for, and Caoiltb came. The Fair 
Chief shouted to him. 

" There is the matter I have for thee," said the 
Gruagach, " to run the deer that I saw yonder above." 

" The Fair Chief came amongst our company this 
day, and his advice may be taken the first day. He 
gave a glance from him, and he saw a deer standing 



above us ; lie aaid it was better for our like of swift, 
strong, light men to be hunting the deer, than to be 
fishing any one pert trout that is here ; and thou Caoilte 
go and chase the deer." 

" Well, then, many is the day that I have given 
to chasing him, and it is little I have for it but my 
grief that I never got a hold of him," said Caoilte. 

Caoilte went away, and he took to speed, 

"How will Caoilte be when he is at his full 
speed r* said the Fair Chief 

" There will be three heads on Caoilte when he is 
at his full speed," said Fionn. 

*' And how many heads will there be on the deerl" 
said the Chief 

'^ There will be seven heads on him when he is at 
fall swiftness," said Fionn.* 

" What distance has he before he reaches the end 
of his journey Ì " said tìie Chief 

" It is seven glens and seven hilk, and seven sum- 
mer seats," said Fionn ; " he has that to make before 
he reaches a place of rest." 

" Let us take a hand at dragging the net^" said the 

The Fair Chief gave a glance from him, and he said 
to Fionn, " Een, son of Cumhail, put thy finger under 
thy knowledge tooth, too see what distcoice Caoilte is 
from the deer." 

Fionn put his finger under his knowledge tooth. 
"There are two heads on Caoilte, and on the deer 
there are but two heads yet," said Fionn. 

" How much distance have they put past Ì " said 
the Fair Chief. 

* What this means I do not know. Perhaps a head may be 
the height of a man, a fathom — ^three and seven fathoms at a 


" Two glens and two hills ; they have five unpassed 
still," said Fionn. 

" Let us take a hand at fishing the trout/' said the 
JFair Chief. 

" When they had been working a while, the Fair 
Chief gave a glance from him. " Fionn, son of Cumal," 
said he, " put thy finger under thy knowledge tooth 
to see what distance Caoilte is from the deer." 

" There are three heads on Caoilte, and four heads 
on the deer, and Caoilte is at full speed," said Fionn. 

" How many glens and hills and summer seats are 
before them," said the Chie£ 

"There are four behind them, and three before 
them," said Fionn. 

" Let us take a hand at fishing the trout," said the 
Fair Chief. 

They took a while at fishing the trout 

" Fionn, son of Cumal," said the Chief, " what dis- 
tance is still before the deer before he reaches the end 
of his journey ?'^' 

" One glen and one hill, and one summer seat," said 

He threw the. net from him, and he took to speed. 
*He would catch the swift March wind, and the swift 
March wind could not catch him, till he caught Caoilte ; 
he took past him, and he left his blessing with him^ 
.Going over by the ford of Sruth Euadh, the deer gave 
a spring — ^the Fair Chief gave the next spring, and he 
caught the deer by the hinder shank, and the deer gave 
A roar, and the Carlin cried — 

" Who seized the beast of my love Ì " 

*' It is I," said the Fair Chief, " the son of the king of 

" Oh, Gruagach ban, son of the king of Eiritiii, lei 
him go," said the Carlin. ^ 

VOL. IL 2 E 


" I will not let (him go) ; he is my own beast now,'* 
said the Gruagach. 

" Give me the fall of my fist of his bnstlesy or a 
handful of <his food, or a mouthful of his brotl^ or a 
morsel of his flesh/' said the Carlin« 

" Any one share thou gettest not," said he. 

" The Feen are coming," said she, " and Fionn at 
their head, and there shall not be one of them that I do 
not bind back to back ' ' 

" Do that," said he, " but I am going away." 

He went away, and he took the deer with him, and 
he was taking on before him till the £en met him. 

"Een, son of Cumal, keep that," said he, as he 
left the deer with Fionn. 

Fionn, son of Cumal, sat at the deer, and the Fair 
Chief went away. He reached the smithy of the seven 
and twenty smiths. He took out three iron hoops out 
of it for every man that was in the Een (Fhinn) ; he 
took with him a hand hammer, and he put three hoops 
about the head of every man that was in the £en, and 
he tightened them with the hammer. 

The Garlin came out, and let out a great screeclu 

" £en, son of Cumal, let hither to me the creature 
of my love." 

The highest hoop that was on the Feeantan burst 
with the screech. She came out the second time, and 
she let out the next yell, and the second hoop burst 
(Was not the Carlin terrible !) She went home, and 
she was not long within when she came the third time, and 
she let out the third yell, and the third hoop burst She 
went and she betook herself to a wood ; she twisted a 
withy from the wood ; she took it with her ; she went 
over, and she bound every man of the Feeantaichean 
back to back, but FiotUL 

The Fair Chief lai4 his hand on the deer, and he 


flayed it. He took out the gaorr, and every bit of the 
inside ; he cut a turf, and he buried them under the 
eartL He set a caldron in order, and he put the deer 
in the caldron, and fire at it to cook it. 

"Een, son of Cumal," said the Fair Chief, "whether 
wouldst thou rather go to fight the Carlin, or stay to 
boil the caldron?" 

"Well, then," said Fionn, "the caldron is hard 
enough to boil. If there be a morsel of the flesh un- 
cooked, the deer will get up as he was before ; and if a 
drop of the broth goes into the fire, he will arise as he 
was before. I would rather stay and boil, the caldron." 

The Carlin came. "Een, son of Cumal," said 
she, " give me my fist full of bristles, or a squeeze of 
my fist of GAORR, or else a morsel of his flesh, or else 
a gulp of the brotL" 

" I myself did not do a thing about it, and with 
that I have no order to give it away," said Fionn. 

Here then the Fair Chief and the Carlin began at 
each other j they would make a bog on the rock and a 
rock on the bog. In the place where the least they 
would sink, they would sink to the knees ; in the place 
whore the most they would sink, they would sink to 
the eyes. 

"Art thou satisfied with the sport, Een, son of 
Cumal?" said the Fair Chie£ 

" It is long since I was satiated with that," said 

" There will be a chance to return-it now," said the 

He seized the Carlin, and he struck her a blow 
of his foot in the crook of the hough, and he felled her. 

" Een, son of Cumal, shall I take her head 
off?" said the Chief. 

" I don't know," said Fionn. 


" Eeh, son of CumaV said she, " I am laying thee 
under crosses, and under spells, and under holy herds- 
man of quiet travelling, wandering woman, the little calf, 
most powerless, most uncouth, to take thy head and 
thine ear, and thy life's wearing off, unless thou be as a 
husband, three hours before the day comes, witk the 
wife of the Tree Lion.* 

" I," said the Fair Chief, " am laying thee under 
crosses and under spells, under holy herdsman of quiet 
travelling, wandering woman, the little calf most power- 
less and most uncouth, to take thy head and thine ear, 
and thy life's wearing off, unless thou be with a foot on 
either side of the ford of Sruth Euadh, and every drop of 
the water flowing through thee." 

He arose, and he let her stand up. 

" Eaise thy spells from off me, and I will raise them 
from him," said the Carlin. " Neither will I lift nor 
lay down, but so ; howsoever we maybe,thoucomest not." 

The Fair Chief went and he took off the caldron ; 
he seized a fork and a knife, and he put the fork into 
the deer ; he seized the knife and he cut a morsel out 
of it, and he ate it. He caught a turf, and cut it, and 
he laid that on the mouth of the caldron. 

" Een, son of Cumal, it is time for us to be going," 
said he ; "art thou good at horsemanship?*' 

" I could hit upon it," said Fionn. 

He caught hold of a rod, and he gave it to Fionn. 
" Strike that on me," said he. 

Fionn struck the rod on him and made him a brown 

" Now, get on top of me," said the Chiè£ Fionn 
got on him. 

* Lcsòmlian chraobh. Tliis, I presume, is a gTÌ£Bn ; I have 
often heard the name though it is not in dictionaries. The word 
griffin is also omitted from some. 


"Be pretty watchful ; I am at thee." 

He gave that spring and he went past nine ridges, 
and Fionn stood (fast) on him. " She *' gave the next 
spring and " she " went past nine other ridges and 
Fionn stood fast on " her." He took to speed. He 
would catch the swift March wind, and the swift 
March wind could not catch him. 

" There is a little town down here," said the am- 
bler, and go down and take with thee three stoups of 
wine and three wheaten loaves, and thou shalt give me 
a stoup of wine and a wheaten loaf, and thon shalt 
comb me against the hair, and with the hair." 

Fionn got that and they reached the wall of the 
Tree lion. 

" Come on the ground, £en, son of Cumal, and 
give me a stoup of wine and a wheaten loaf" 

Fionn came down and he gave him a stoup of wine 
and a wheaten loaf 

" Comb me now against the hair, and comb me 
with the hair." 

He did that 

" Take care of thyself," said the ambler. 

TKen " she " leaped, and she put a third of the 
wall below her, and there were two-thirds above, and 
8he returned. 

" Give me another stoup of wine and another 
wheaten loa^ and comb me against the hair, and comb 
me with the hair." . 

He did that 

" Take care of thyself for I am for thee now," said 
the ambler. 

She took the second spring, and she put two-thirds 
of the wall below her, and there was a third over her 
head, and she returned. 

" Give me another stoup of wiae and a wheaten 


loaf, and comb me against the hair, and ^th the 

He did that. 

" Take care of thyself, for I am for thee now," said 

She took a spring, and she was on the top of the 

" The matter is well before thee, Een," said tlie 
ambler, " the Tree Lion is from home." 

He went home. My Chief, and all hail ! were before 
him ; meat and drink were set before him ; he rested 
that nighty and he was with the wife of the Tree lion 
three hours before the day. 

So early as his eye saw the day, earlier than that 
he arose, and he reached the ambler, the Gruagach 
Ban, and they went away. 

Said the Fair Chief, " The Tree lion is fix)m 
home ; anything that passed she will not hide ; he is 
coming after us, and he will not remember his book of 
witchcraft ; and since he does not remember the hook 
of witchcraft, it will go with me against him ; but if he 
should remember the book, the people of the world 
could not withstand him. He has every Draochd magic, 
and he will spring as a bull when he comes, and I will 
spring as a bull before him, and the first blow I give 
him, I will lay his head on his side, and I will make 
him roar. Then he will spring as an Aiseal (ass), 
and I will spring as an ass before him, and the first 
thrust I give him I will take a mouthful out of him, 
between flesh and hide as it may be. Then he will 
spring as a hawk in the heavens ; I will spring as a 
hawk in the wood, and the first stroke I give him, I 
will take his heart and his liver out I will come 
down afterwards, and thou shalt seize that napkin 
yonder, and thou shalt put me in the napkin, and thou 


shalt cut a turf, and thou slialt put the napkin under 
the earth, and thou shalt stand upon it. Then the 
wife of the Tree lion will oome, and thou standing on 
the top of the turf, and I under thy feet ; and she with 
the book of witchcxafb on her back in a hay band, 
^nd she will say — Een, son of Cumal, man that 
never told a lie, tell me who of the people of the world 
killed my comrade, and thou shalt say T know not 
above the earth who killed thy comrade. She will go 
• ^way and take to speed with her weeping cry." 

When they were on forward a short distance, whom 
saw they coming but the Tree lion. 

He became a bull ; the Fair Chief became a bull 
before^ him, and the first blow he struck him he laid 
his head on his side, and the Tree lion gave out a 
roar. Then he sprung as an ass, the Fair Chief 
^rung as an ass before him, and at the first rush he 
gave towards him he took a mouthful between flesh and 
skin. The Tree lion then sprang as a hawk in the 
heavens, the Fair Chief sprang as a hawk in the wood, 
and he took the heart and liver out of him. The Fair 
Chief fell down afterwards, Fionn seized him and he 
put him into the laapkin, and he cut a turf, and he put 
the napkin under the earth, and the turf upon it, and 
he stood on the turf The wife of the Tree lion came, 
and the book of witchcraft was on her back in a hay 

" Een, son of Cumal, man that never told a lie, 
who killed my comrade ? " 

" I know not above the earth, who killed thy com- 
rade," said Fionn. 

And she went away in her weeping cry, and she 
betook herself to distance. 

He caught hold of the Fair Chief and he lifted him 
with him, and he reached the castle in which was the 

4^4 wast mOHLAND TALE& 

dame of the Fine Green Kirtle. He leached her that 
into her hand. She went down with it, and she was 
not long down when she came up where he was. 

"Een, son of Cumal the Gruagach Ban, son of 
the king of Eirinn, is asking for thee." 

" That is the news I like hest of all I ever heard, 
that the Fair Chief is asking for me," said Fionn. 

She set meat and drink hefore them, and they 
would not eat a morsel nor drink a drop till they 
should eat their share of the deer with the rest at 
Sruth Euaidh. 

They reached (the place) where the Een were hound, 
and they loosed every single one of them, and they 
were hungry enough. The Fair Chief set the deer 
hefore them, and they left of the deer thrice as much 
as they ate. 

" I should go to tell my tale," said the Fair Chief. 
He reached the carlin at the ford of Sruth Euaidh, 
and he began to tell the tale how it befel him. Every 
tale he would tell her she would begin to rise ; every 
time she would begin to rise he would seize her, and 
he would crush her bones,' and he would break them 
until he told his lot of tales to her. 

When he had told them he returned, and he 
reached the Een back again. 

Fionn went with him to the Castle of the Dame of 
the Fine Green Kirtle. 

" Blessing be with thee, Een, son of Cumal," said 
the Fair Chief, son of the King of Eirinn, " I have 
found all I sought — a sight of each matter and of each 
thing, and now I will be returning home to the palace 
of my own father." 

" It is thus thou art about to leave me, after each 
thing I have done for thee ; thou wilt take another one, 
and I shall be left alona" 


.... .. 

" Is that what thou sayest V* said he, " If I thought 
{hat might be done, I never saw of married women or 
maidens that I would take rather than thee, but I will 
not make wedding or marrying here with thee, but 
thou shalt go to the palace of my father with me." 

They went to the palace of his father, himself arid 
the dame of the Fine Green Kirtle, and Fionn. A 
churchman was got, and the Fair Chief and the dame 
of the Fine Green Kirtle married. A hearty, jolly, 
joyful wedding was made for them ; music was raised 
and lament laid down ; meat was set in the place for 
using, and drink in the place for drinking, and music 
in the place for hearing, and they were plying the feast- 
and the company until that wedding was kept up for 
a day and a year, with solace and pleasure of mind. 


Dh' fhalbh an Gruagach bkn, Mac High Eireann, le mhòr-chaìd- 
eacfad, a chamail ciiirt agus cnideachd ns fhin. Choinnich boirean- 
nach e ris an canadh end, bean a chaol chot' naine. Dh* iarr i air 
ireU snidhe dh* iomairt air chairtean, agns shuidh eud a dh' iomairt 
airna cairtean, agus chuir an Gmagach ban an cluichd air bean a chaol 
chòt naine. " Iarr toradh de chlnichd,'* nrsa bean a chaol cbot* naine. 
"Gha "n *eil mi smaointeachadh gom bheil toradh agad,—cha *n *eil 
mi fhin fiosrach air/* urs* an Gmagach ban, Mac Righ Eireann. 
** Am màireach bidh thu aunn an so, agus coinneachaidh mis* thu,** 
nrsa bean a chòta chaotl naine. *' Bithidb,** nrs* an Grnagacfa ban. 
An la *r na mhàireach choinnich e i. Agus thbisich end air na cairt- 
ean, agns bhuidhinn is* an cinichd. ** Iarr toradh de chluichd/* nrs' 
an Gruagach ban. ** Tha mi/* ursa bean a chaol chòt* naine, " *ga d' 
c^ar fo gheasan agus fo chroisean, fo naoidh buaraiche mnatha'sithe, 
rihbhlaiche, seachranaiche ; an laogh beag is meata *s is mi>threòr- 
aiche *thoirt do chinn, *s do chluas, *8 do chaitheadh — beatha dhiot ; 
mn ni thu tamh oidbche na latha, far an gabh thu do bhraiceas nach 
gabh thu do dhinneir, agus far an gabh thtt do dhinneir nach gabh 


tha do shaipeir, ge b'e ait 'am bi thn, gos am £ugh tha \nach ge b*e 
kit am bi mise fo cheithir raiina madha 'm t-saoghaiU Thag i neap- 
argin as a pòca, 's chrath i e, 's cha robh f hios co*a taobh a gbabh i na 
as an d' thliinig L 

Chaidh esan dacbaidb go trom-inntinneadi, dugh-bhrbnach. 
Cbuir e nileann air a' bbòrd *s a lamb fo a leitbcheann, 's lig e osann 
as. <* D^ sin ort a mbic ; " ursa Bigh Eireann. " An amin fo gheasan 
a tba thu?'* *<Ach na biodh nmhail agad din, togaidb mise do 
gheasan diat Tha ceàrdach air tìr agam agns luingeas air rnnir. 
Fad *s a mbaireas or na airgiod domhsa, stocbd na iondas, cairidh 
mi g*a t' f huasgladh e, gos an tog mi na geasan so diat.*' ** Cha 
chair," nrs* esan ; **agas m* atbair tha thu gbrracb. Cuiridb tasa sin 
aur falbb uait f bin, agus caillidh ta na bbios an sin. Cha tog tha na 
geasan. Th^id do riogfaachd go ditb 's go bochdainn, agus cha tog 
sin na geasan, agns caillidh ta do choid daoine. Ach gMidb tbosa 
do cbuid daoin' agad fhin; 's ma dh' fhalbbas mise cha bhidhith orm 
ach mi-f hin." 

'Se bfa' aunn aunns a' mhadainn an la 'r na mbàireach, db' f halbh 
e gon chh, gon duine, gon laogb, gon leanabb. Bha e' falbb agu^ a* 
falbh, 's ag astarachadh. Bha daghadh air a bbonnaibh agaatolladh 
air a bhrògan ; neòil dhugba nah-oidbcb* a' tighinn^agiis neòìl gbeala, 
sh^imbidh an latha 'falbh, 's gon e faigbinn aite stad na tkmh da. 
Thug e seachduin o cfaeaunn go ceaunn gon ììrìì na caisteal f haicinny 
na gon sgath. Bha e air fas dona, gon chadal, gon tàmh, gon bhiadh, 
gon deoch, a' coiseacbd fad na seachduin. Thug e sealladb naidh, 's 
de chunnaic e ach caisteal I Ghabb e a Moniisuidh, 's gbabh e ma *n 
cuairtair. Cha d' fhuair e urad ri toll tora de dh* fbosgladh air an 
tigh. Tbuit a dhudam agus a dhadam air le trioblaid agus le allaban ; 
agus thill e go trom-inntinneach, dugfa-bhrònach. Bha e 'gabhail 
suas roimhe, agus de chual e ach eubh as a dh^igh. ** A Ghraagach 
bhàn, Mbic Righ Eireann till ; tha-cuirm la a's bliadhoa feitbeamh 
ort, am biadh nach sraaointich thu *s an deoch nach smaointicb tha ! 
am biadh a smaointeachas thu 's an deoch a smaointeacbas tba V 
Thill e. Bha dorusd ma choinneamb a h-uile latha 's a' bbliadhn 
air an tigh, 's bha uinneag mu choinneamb h-uile latha 's a'.bhliadhna 
air; bha e 'na ioghnadh mòr leis,aa tigh a chaidh e fhin mu 'n caairt 
air, 's gon urad agus toll tora de dh* fbosgladh air, uinneag agoa 
dorusd a bhith air mu choinneamb h-uile latha 's a' bhliadbna, nar a 
thill e I Thug e stigh air. Chuireadh biadh an ait' a chaitheadh, 
deoch an ait' a h-òl, agus cebl an ait' ^isdeachd. Agus bha eud a' 
caitheadh na cuirm agus na cuideachd, e fhin agus an nighean 
bhriagh a dh' eubh as a dh^igh, aunns a' phàileas. Rinneadb leaba 


le ceaunn adhart dha amins a' chaisteal, 's lag 'na boitegem. Chidr« 
eadh bum blàth air a chasan, 's chaidh e 'laidhe. Nur a dh' ^irìdh e 
*n la ^r na mhàireach bba 'm bòrd air cur thairis leis gach biadh a b* 
fheàrr, agus bha e mar ao ri uine, 's gon e *mòth'chainn na h-tiine 
Mol seachad. Sheas is* aunns an dorasd. ** A Gbruagach bhàn, Mhic 
Rigb Eireann, de 'n staid aunns am bheil thu' ga t* fbaotaion fhin ? " 
•• na d^mnr tha thu?" nrs* ise, ** nighean a chaisteil/* ** Tha mi go 
math," urs' esan. *< Am bheil fios agad de *n uin' o thMnig tha *n 
so," urs' ise. ** Tha mi smaointeachadh go *n slànaich mi ceachduin, 
mu bhios mi aunn an diugh/* urs* esan. ** Tha raithe mach direach 
an diugh,** urs* ise. ** Cha d* th^id do bhiadh, na do dheoch, na do 
leaba, mir na 's miosa na tha eud gos an togair thu tilleadh dhach- 
aidh." Bha e 'n sin leisfhin gos an robh e smaointeachadh gon robh 
mias aige 'mach. Aig an am so sheas ise *san dorusd. '< Seadh & 
Ghmagach bhkn, demur a tha thu* ga t' fhaighinn an diugh ? ** urs* ise. 
'* Gle mhath," urs' esan. ** De *n inntinn aunns am bheil thu *ga t* 
fhaotainn fliin ?** urs' ise. ** Innsidh mi sm duit,** urs* esan. ** Na*m 
b' urrainn mo dha lamb ruighinn air a' bheinn bhioraich *nd shuai*, 
gon cuirinn air muinn na beinn mhaoil 'ud eil* i*' ** Am bheil fios 
agad de *n iiin* o' thàinig thu *n so ?'* urs* ise. *' Tha mi smaointeach- 
adh gon do shlànaich mi mias aunn,** urs* esan. " Tha ceaunn an da 
bhliadhna direach a mach,** urs' ise. " Cha chreid mi e, air uachdar 
an t-saoghail, gon d' thàinig aon duine 'gheibheadh buaidh orm fhin 
ann an spionnadh na *n aotromachd,*' urs' esan. *'Tha thu gbrrach," 
nrs* ise, ** Tha buidheann bheag an so ris an can end an Fhinn, *8 
gheibh eud buaidh ort ; cha d' thàinig am fear air nach fhaigh eud 
buaidh.'* ** Gr^im cha 'n ith mi, deoch cha 'n òl mi, cadal cha d'' 
th^id air mo shiul, gos an ruig mi far am bheil eud, 's gos am bi 
fhios agam cò eud," urs' esan. ** A Gbruagach bhkn na bi cho gbrr^ 
ach, agus lig seachad an f haoineis sin as do cheaunn. Fan mur a 
tha thu, 's fios agam gon till end thu," nrs' iae. ** Tàmh oidhche na 
latha cha dian mi gos an ruig mi end," urs' esan. ** Tha latha bog, 
ceòthar aunn an diagh," urs' ise, ** agus tha thu 'cùr romhad gom 
falbh thu." *^ Ilia 'n Fhinn 'na leithid so de dh' kite, agus lian ac 
ag iasgach brie. Gabhaidh tu null far am bi end. Chi thu 'n Fhinn 
air an dama taobh, 's Fionn na ònrachd air an taobh eile. Gabbaidb 
tu far am bi e, agus beannachaidh tu dha. Beannachaidh Fionh 
duit aunns an dòigh chiadhna. larraidh tu cosnadh air. Abraidh e- 
nach 'eil cosnadh aige dhuit an dràsd, gom bheil an Fhinn gM làidir, 
*s nach cnir e duine 'mach. Abraidh e de 'n t-ainm a th' ort.' 
Freagraidh tus' an sin, t' ainm nach do cheU thu riabh, an Gruagacfa- 
ban, Mac kigh Eireann. Abraidh Fionn an sin, Gad a bhitbinn*8» 


gon duine dlùth d^mur nach d' thagainn cosnadh do mhac t' athar 
i>a; achhabi mbr-fhaclach am miosg nam Fianntan. Thalia nis 
agas gheibh thu nèapai^n a tha 'n so, agUs bbeir thu leat e, agos 
abrudh ta ri Fionn, co 'ca bhios thusa beb na marbh do char aann 
nor a thig fenm air." 

Dh* fhalbh e agns ràinig e far an robh *n Fhinn. Chnnnaic e ead 
an sin ag iasgach brie, each air an darna taobh, *s Fionn air an taobh 
eile na ònrachd. Chaidh e far an robh Fionn, agus bheannaich e 
dha. Bheannach Fionn dàsan aunn am briathran nach bo mhiosa. 
'* Chaala mi gon robh ^ur leithidean de dhaoin' anun, agus thàinig mi 
g' 'ur ionnsuidh airson cosnadh iarraidh oirbh," nrs' an Grnagach ban. 
'^ Mta cha 'n 'eil duin' a dlùth òirnn 'san am/' nrsa Fionn. De 'n t-s 
ainm a th^ ort?" "M' ainm cha do cheil mi riabh, an Grnagach 'biui 
Mac Righ Eireann," urs^ esau. *' Dona I dona I mur a dh' èiridh de 
thabaist domh I Far an d' fhuair mi mo thogail go h-òg, agus m^ 
àrach gom* shine. Co gheibheadh cosnadh mur am faigheadh mac t* 
athar e; ach na bi mor-fhaclach am miosg nam Fianntan," nrsa 
Fionn. ** Teaunn a nauU agus l>eir air ceaunn an lin, agus tarrninn 
eomhia riums* e." Thbisich e air an lian a tharruinn leis an Fhinn. 
Thug e shil as a chionn, agus d^ ^chunnaic e ach fiadh. " Nach b 
fhekrra d' ur leithidean-sa de dhaoine luath, l^dir, aotrom, òg, a 
bhith *g ianach an fh^idh *ud shuas ; seach a bhith *g Iasgach aona 
bhreac beadaidh an so, agus nach ruig greim dh* a iasg sibh, na bals- 
am dh' a shligh ; seach am beathach *ud shuas as 'ur ciono, a migeas 
gr^im d' a fheoil sibh agus balgam d'a eanruitli," urs' an Grnagach 
ban, Mac Righ Eireann. ** Mu 's math am beathach sin," ursa Frònn, 
^ tha sinne seachd sgith dheth 's tha sinn eòlach na leòìr air." ** Mata 
ohuala mi ftùn gon robh aon duin' agaibh ris an canadh end Luathas, 
a bheireadh air a* ghaoth luath Mhàrt, agus nach beireadh a gbaoth 
loath Mhart air," urs' an Gruagach ban. *' O 'n is e do chiad iarradas 
ecuiridh sinn a 'iarraidh," ursa Fionn. Chuireadh air'*a shon, 's thainig 
Oaoilte. Dh' eubh an Gruagach ban air. ** Siud an gnothach a bh' 
agam doit," urs' an Gruagach. ** Dol a ruith an fh^dh a chunnaic 
mi shuas 'ud." " ThMnig an Gruagach ban an diugh 'nar cuideachd, 
agus faodar a 'chomhairl' a ghabhail a' chiad latha. Thug e stiil 
uaidh, agus chunnaic e fiadh 'na sheasamh as ar cionn. Tbuirte gom 
b' fhekrr d'ar leithidean-sa de dhaoine luath, Ikidir, aotrom, a bhith 
sealg an fh^idh, na bhith 'g iasgach aona bhreac beadaidh an ao ; 
agus a Chaoilte falbh thus' agus ruith am fiadh," ursa Fionn. " Mata 
'a ioma latha 'thug mis' air a ruith, agus 's beag a bh' agam air a 
shon ach mo thrioblaid nach d' fhuair mi gr^im riabh air," nrsa 
Caoilte. Dh' fhalbh Caoilt' agus thug e go h-astar. 


"D^mur a bliios Caoilte nur a bfaios e *iia 12ui luathasy^'urs' an 
Grnagacli ban. ** Bidh tri chiim air Caoilte nur a bhios e aig a Ikn 
luathas," ursa Fionn. ** 'S co mhiad ceaunn a bhios air an fhiadfa>" 
urs' an Gmagach. ** Bidh seachd cinn air nur a bbios e 'na Ian 
luathas," ursa Fionn. " De *n t-astar a th' aige mu 'n mig e* cbeaunn 
uidhe ?" urs an Gmagach. ** Tha seachd glinn, agus seachd mill, agus 
seachd aiteacha suidhe samhraidh," ursa Fionn. *'Tfaa sin n aige 
r' a dhianadh mu 'n mig e àite tàim)i.*' <*Thngamaid làmh air 
tarminn an lin," urs' an Gmagach. Thug an Gmagach ban sealladh 
naidh) 's thuirt e ri Fionn. ** Fhinn Mhic Cumhail cnir do mhisr fo 
d* dheud fios fiach de *it t-astar 's am bheil Caoilte dha 'n fhiadh." 
Chuir Fionn a mhiar fo a dheud fios. " Tha da cheannn air Caoilt«, 
*B cha ^n 'eil air an fliiadh ach an da cheaunn fhathasd," ursa Fionni 
*' D^ chuir eud seachad de dh* astar," urs' an Gmagach ban. ** Da 
ghleann 1^^ da mheauU ; tha coig aca gon chur seachad fhathasad/* 
ursa Fiona. "Thugamaid lamb air iasgach a' bhric," urs' an Graag-^ 
ach ban. Thòisich eud air iasgach a' bhric. Air treis daibh a bhith 
*g obair thug an Gruagach ban suil Uaidh. ** Fhinn Mhic Cumhail," 
urs' esan, *'cuir do mhiar fo d' dheud fios fiach de 'n t-astar a tha 
Caoilt' 'n fhiadh." ** Tha tri chinn air Caoilte 's tha ceithir chinn 
air an fhiadh, 's tha Caoilte 'na Ian luathas," ursa Fionn. Co mhiad 
gleaunn, agus meaull, agus kite suidhe samhraidh a tha romhpa," 
urs' an Gruagach. Tha ceithir as an d^igh agus tri rompa," ursa 
Fionn. " Bheireamaid lamb air iasgach a' bhric," urs' an Gruagach 
ban. Thug eud treis air iasgach a bhric '* Fhinn Mhic Cumhail,** 
urs' an Gruagach, ** d4 'n t-astar a tha romh *n fhiadh fhatbasd mu 
'n mig e cheaunn uidhe." ** Aona ghleaunn, agus aona mheaull, agus 
aon kite suidhe samhraidh," ursa Fionn. 

Thilg e uaidh an lian, agus ghabh e go h-astar. Bheireadh e air' 
a' ghaoth luath Mhàrt, 's cha bheireadh a' ghaoth luath Mhàrt aifj 
gos an d' rug e air Caoilte. Ghabh e seachad air, 's dh' fhàg e beann-; 
achd aige. A' dol a null ri dachan Strath ruaidh thug am fiadh 
kum as. Thuf; an Gmagach ban an ath leum as, 's rug e air chalpa 
deiridh air an fhiadh, 's thug am fiadh ran as, 's dh' eubh a' chaiU 
leach. ** Co 'rag air mo bheathach gaoil ? " ** Tha mis," urs* an Gruag- 
ach ban, Mac Bigh Eireann. *'A Ghrnagach bhàn, Mhic RitfU 
Eireann lig as e," urs' a' chailleach. *' Cha lig mi, mo bheathach flaii 
a nis a th' aunn," ur&' an Gmagach ban. *'Thoir dhomh Ian mti 
dhUirn d' a chalg, no taosg mo dhùirn d' a ghaorr, air neo balgam 
dh' a ghhgh, airaeo grèim dh' a fheòil," urs' a' chailleach. Aona 
chuid cha 'n fhaigh thu," urs' esan. " Tha 'n Fhbm a' tigliinn," xatf 
ise, ** agus Fionn air an ceann ; cha bhi h-aon aca nach oeanghaii mi 
CÙ1 ri chl." << Dian sin," urs' esan, '* ach tha mis' a' falbh." 


Dh* fhalbh e, 'a thug è leis am £adh, *8 l)ha e *gàbhail roimhe gos 
an do choinnich an Flùnn e. " Ffainn Mhic Cumhail gl^idh and," 
an* esan, 's e fàgail an fh^idh aig Fionn. Sfauidh Fionn Mac Cnmli' 
ail aig an fhiadh, 's dh' fhalbh an Gruagach bàn« Ràinig e cekr- 
dach nan seachd goibhne fichead. Thug e tri chearcaill iarminn 
aisdema choinnearah h-uile daine 'bha 'san Fhinn. Thug e leis 
làmh-òrd, agus chnir e tri chearcaill mu cheann a h-uile duine 'bhs 
'san Fhinn, agus tbeannaich e leis an òrd eud. Thàinig a* cbailleach 
a mach, 's lig i sgairt mhòr. ** Fhinn Mhic Cumhail lig thugam mo 
bheathach gaoil.** Bhrist an cearcall a b* airde 'bh' air na Fianntan 
leis an sgairt ThMnig 1 'mach an dama 'uair, 's lig i *n ath sgairt, 
*s bhrist i 'n dama cearcall. (** Nacb b* uamhasach a chailleach.**) 
Chaidh i dachaidh, *s cha b* tliad' a bha i stigh nur a thàinig i 'n 
treas uair, *& lig i 'n treas sgairt, *8 bhrist i 'n treas cearcalL Dh' 
fhalbh i ; ghabh i go ruige coille ; shniamh 1 gad coille ; thug i leath 
e ; ghabh i 'null agus cheanghail i h-mle fear dha na Fiantaichean 
cul ri cul, ach Fionn. 

Thug an Gruagach ban làmh air an fhiadh *s dh^ fheaunn e e. 
Thug e 'n gaorr as. Rug e air a h-uile sgath dha 'n mhionach 'a 
dha 'n ghaorr, ghearr e plochd, agus thiodhlaic e fo 'n talamh eud. 
Chuir e coir* air dòigh, agus chuir e 'm fiadh 's a' choire, agus teine 
ris a 'bhruich. *' Fhinn Mhic Cumhail," urs' an Gruagach ban ri 
Fionn, CO *ca *s fheàrr leatsa dol a chòmhrag na caillich, na fiutail 
a^ bruich a* choire. ** Matà," ursa Fionn, *' tha *n coire gìè dhoirbh a 
bhruich. Mu bhios bldeag de 'u fheòil gon an lith 'bhith thairis^ 
eireachaidh am fiadh mur a bha e roimhid; agus mu th^d boinne 
dha 'n Jithe mu 'n teine, eireachaidh e mur a bha e roimhid. 'S 
fheàrr leamsa fantail a* bruich a* choire." 

Thkinig a' cbailleach « Fhinn Mhic CumhaiV nrs* ise, «bheir 
domh Ian mo dhiiim dh* an chalg, aimeo taosg mo dhuim dh' a 
ghaorr, aimeo greim dh' afhebil, aimeo balgam dh' a eanroith." 
" Cha d' rinn mi f bin dad timchioU air, agus, leis an sin, cha 'n 'eil 
ordan agam air a thoirt seachad," ursa Fionn. Thòisich an Grua- 
gach ban 's a' cbailleach air a' chèile an so. Dhianadh eud bogan 
air a' chreagan, agus creagan air a' bhogan ; an t-àite 'bo lugba 
*rachadh eud fodha, rachadh eud fodha g' an gltiinean; 's an t-àite 
'bo mhoth' a rachadh eud fodha, rachadh eud fodha g* an shilean. 
*'Am bheil thu buidheach aighir Fhinn Mhic Cumhail,** urs' an 
Gruagach ban. ** S fhad o 'n a bha mise buidheach dheth sin,* 
ursa Fionn. **Bidh cothrom air a thoirt seachad a nis," urs' an 
Gruagach. Bug e air a' cbailleach, 's bhuail e breab urr' aunn am 
bacan na h»easgaid, 's leag e i. ** An d' thoir mi 'n ceaunn di Fhinn 


BIhio CnmhaiV* urs' an Gmagach. ** Clia *n 'eil fhios' am," una 
Fionn. **Fhinn Bihic Cumhail," on' ise, "tha mi 'gad' char fo 
chroUean 'sfo gheasan, 'a fo naodh baaraiche mnatba sithe, siùbblaicbe^ 
seachranaiche; an laogh beag is meata *8 is mi-tbreòiriche a thoirt 
do cbinn, 's do do chinas, 's do chaitheadh-beatba dhìòt, mur am bl 
thn mar fhear pòsd' tri nairean mu 'n d' thig an latha aig bean an 
leòmhan chraobh." ** Tha mis'/* nrs* an Graagach ban, '* 'gad' cbur-sa 
fo chroisean agns fo ghcasan, fo naodh buaraiche mnatba sithe, 
siUbhlaiche, seachranaiche ; an laogh beag is meata 's is mi-threò- 
iriche thoirt do chinn, 's do chluas, 's do chaitheadh-beatha dhiot, 
mar am bi thus' agns cas air gach taobh do cblachan Struth ruadh 
agady agns a h-oile diar aisge 'dol a stigh air an dama oeaann, 's a' 
dol a mach air a' cheaann eile diot." Dh' èiridh e agas lig e 'na 
seasamh L ''Tog dhiom do gheasan, agns togaidh mise dheth-san 
end," ars' a* chailleacb. <* Cha tog agus cha leag ach mursiud. Ge 
V e air bith mar a thilleas sinne cha d' thig thnsa*" 

Dh' fhalbh an Graagach ban 's thug e deth an coire. Rug e air 
fbrc agns air sgian, 'a chuir e 'n fhorc aunns' an fhiadh. Rug e air 
an sgithinn, agas gheàrr e grèim as, 's dh' ith e. Rug e air piochd, 
's ghearr e e, 's chair e siud air ceaunn a' choire. " Fhinn Mhic 
Gumhail tha 'n t-am againn a bhith 'falbh," ars' esan, "am bheil tha 
math go marcachd?" *' Dh' aimisinn orra," ursa Fionn. Rug e air 
alataig, 's thug do dh' Fhionn i. " fiuail siud orms'," ars' esam 
Bhnail Honn an t-slatag air, 's rinn e f&laire dhonn dheth. ** Theirig 
a nis air mo mhuinn-sa," urs' an Graagach. Chaidh Fionn air a 
mhainn." Bi go math furachar, tha mise g' a* t' ionnsuidh." Thug 
e 'n leum sin as 's chaidh e seachad air naoidh iomairean, agas sheas 
Fionn air a mhainn. Thug i 'n dama leum aisde, 's chaidh i seachad 
air naoidh iomairean eile, 's sheas Fionn air a muinn. Thug i 'n 
treas leum aisde, 's chaidh i seachad air naoidh iomairean eile, 's 
sheas esan air a muinn. Thug e go astar. Bheireadh e air a' ghaoth 
loath Mhkirt, 's cha bheireadh a' ghaoth luath Mhàirt air ** Tha 
baile beag shios an so," urs' an fhàlaire, agus theirig sios 'a 
bheir leat tri stòpanuan fian agus tri muilnean crionachd, agus 
bheir tha dhòmhsa stop fian agus muileann crionachd, agus cioraidh 
tha 'n aghaidh an fhionna agus leis an fhionna mi" Fhuair Fionn 
siad agus làinig eud ball' an leòmhan chraobh. "Thalia air 
làr Fhinn Mhic Cumhail agus thoir dhomh stbpa fian agus mnil* 
eann crionachd." Thàinig Fionn a nuas, agus thug e da stbpa fian 
agns moileann crionachd. ''Cior a nis an aghaidh an fhionna 
mi, agas cior leis an fhionna mi." Rinn e siud. *' Bheir an aire 
dhuit fiùn»" nrs' an fhàlaire. Leom i 'n sin;- agus chmr i trian 


Ibiche dlui *n bhalla, *8 btaa da thrian as a donn, *8 thill L "Bb 
dhomh stop flan agus muileann criooachd eile, agus càor an agfamidh 
an fliionna mi, agus <àor leis an fhionna mL" Sinn e siad. ** Tlioir 
an aire dhnit fhin 's mise dha f ionnsnidli a nis," nra^ an fhàlaire. 
Thng \ 'n dama leam aisde ; agiu chnir i da thrian de ^n bhaUa foiche, 
*8 bha da thrian as a cionn, agns thill i. ** Thoir domh stop fian agus 
mnileann criooachd eile» agus càor an aghaidh an fhionna mi, aena 
dor leis an fhionna mi,*' nrs* ise. Rinn e nud, '* Thoir an aire dfauit 
fnin 's mise dha t' ionnsuidh a nis," ars* ise. Thng i lenm aiade 'a 
bha i air bàrr a' bhalla. ** Tha 'n gnothach go math romhad Fhinny*" 
nrs' an fhUaire ; ** tha 'n leòmfaan craobh o 'n tigh." Ghabh e dhach- 
aidh. Bha flath agns fàilte roimhe. Chnireadh biadh agns deoch 
air a bhialthaobh. Ghabh e ma tbàmh an oidfache sin. Mu 'n d* 
ihkinig an latha bha e tri nairean mor fhear posd' aig bean an lebmb- 
an craobh. 

Cho moch *8 a chnnnaic a shhil an Uitha, 's moiche na sin a dh* 
èiridh e, 's a rainig e 'n fhàlaire, an Gmagacfa ban, agns dh' fhalbh 
end. Urs' an Gruagach ban, ''Tha 'n leòmhan. craobh o 'n tìgìu 
Dad sam bith mnr a bha cha cheil ise. Tha e Yalbh as ar d^hne* 
's cha chnimhnich e air an leobhar bhuidseachais, agos o 'n nach 
cnimhnich e air an leobhar bbuidseachais, thèid agams* air ; ach na 
*n cnimhneachadh e air an leobhar cha chuireadhslaagh an t-saogb* 
ail ris. Tha h-nile draochd aige^san, agus leumaidh e 'na thart>h 
nnr a thig e, agns leumaidh mis a' m' tharbh ma choinneamh, 
agns a' chiad bhniU* a bheir raise dha, leagaidh mi cheannn air 
a shlinnean, *8 bheir mi rka air. Leumaidh e 'n sin 'na aiseal, 'a 
leumaidh mise *nam alseil rau choinneamh; agus a* chiad speach 
a bheir miae dha, bheir mi Ian mo bheòil as eadar feòil agus 
craicionn mar a bhitheas e. Leumaidh e 'n sin 'na sheobhag annus 
na speuran. Leumaidh mise 'nam sheobhag aunns a' choille, 's a 
chiad speach a bheir mi dha bheir mi 'n cridh* agus an gman as, 
Thig mis' a nuas as a dh^igh, agus beiridh tus' air an nèapaigin *ud 
an aiud, agus cuiridh tu aunns an nèapaigin mi, agus gearraidh ta 
plochd, 's cuiridh tu 'n nèapaigìn fo 'n talamh, agus seasaldh tu ain 
Thig bean an leòmhan chraobh an sin, agus tbusa 'nad' sheasamh 
air muinn a' phluichd, agos miae fo d' chasan, agus an leobharbuid* 
aeachais aie^ air a muinn aunn an shgan, agus their i, '^ Fhinn Mhie 
Cumhail, fhir nach d' innis briag riabh, innis domh co 'mharhh uo 
chompanach a shluagh an t-$>aogbai] ? " Their thusa, <* Cha *n aithne 
dòmhs' as cionn an talanta co 'mharbh do chompanach." Falbhaidh 
is' agus bheir i go astar urra 'na gaoire gull.'* 

l^or a bha eud treis air an aghaidh co 'chnnnaic end a' tighinn 


ach an lebmhan craobh. Chaidh e 'na tharbh. Chaidh an Graagach 
bkn *na tharbh mu 'choinneamh, agus a' chiad bhuill' a thug e dha 
leag e* cheaunn air a slilinnean, agns thug an lebmhan craobh ran 
as. I^am e 'n so 'na aiseal. Leum an Graagach ban 'na aiseal ma 
'choinneamh, 's air a* chiad speach a thug e a 'ionnsuidh thug e Ian a' 
bheoil as eadar fheoil' agns chraicionn. Leum an lebmhan craobh 
an so 'na sheobhac; aunns na speuran. Leum an Gruagach ban *na 
sheobhag aunns a' choille, agus thug e 'n cridh* agus an gruan as. 
Thuit an Gruagach ban a nuas as a dh^igh. Kug Fionn air, agus 
chuir e aunns an nèapaigin e, agus gheàrr e plochd, agus chulr e *n 
nèapaigin fo 'n talamh agus am plochd air a mhuinn, agus sheas e 
air muinn a' phluichd. Thàinig bean an lebmhan craobh, agus an 
leobhar buidseachais leath' air a muinn aunn an shgan. ** Fhinn 
Mhic Cumhail, fhir nach d' innis briag riabh, 'co' mharbh mo chomp- 
anach?" " Cha 'n aithne dbmhs' as cionn an talanta co mharbh do 
chompanach," ursa Fionn agus 'dh fhalbh i 'na gaoire guil, agus thug 
i go h-astar urra. 

Rug e air a Ghruagach bhàn agus thog e leis e, agus ràinig e 'n 
caisteal 's an robh bean a chaol-chot' uaine. Shin e dhi siud 'na 
làimh. Ghabh i 'sias leis, agus cha b' fhada 'bha i shias nur a thàinig 
i nias far an robh esan. " Fhinn Mhic Cumhail," urs' ise, " tha 'n 
Gruagach ban, Mac Righ Eireann, 'ga t' iarraidh." " 'S e sin 
naigheachd is fhearr leom a chuala mi riabh fhatbasd, gom bheil an 
Gruagach ban' gam' iarraidh," ursa Fionn. Chuir i biadh agus deoch 
air am bialthaobh. Cha 'n itheadh eud greim, 's cha 'n bladh end 
diar, gos an itheadh eud an cuid de 'n fhiadh le each aig Struth 
ruaidh. Ràinig eud far an robh 'n Fh\nn ceanghailte, agus dh' fhuasg.- 
ail eud a h-uile h-aon riabh aca, 's bha acras go leoir orra. Chuir 
an Gruagach ban am fiadh air am bialthaobh, 's dh' fhàg eud dha 'n 
fhiadh tri urad 's a dh' ith eud. " S coir dbmhsa dol a dh' innseadh 
mo sg^il," urs* an Gruagach ban. Ràinig e 'chailleach aig clachan 
Struth ruaidh. Thòisich e air innseadh a sgeil mar a dh' ^iridh dhi^. 
H-uile sgial a dh' innseadh esan dise, thbiseachadh ise ri ^iridh. 
H-uile h-uair a thòiseacbadh ise ri ^iridh, bheireadh esan urra, agus 
phronnadh e na cnàmhan aice, agus bhristeadh e end, gos an d' innis 
e chuid sgialachdan di. Nur a dh' innis e eud thill e, agus ràinig e 
'n Fhinn air ais. Chaidh Fionn leis go caisteal bean a chaol-chot' 
uaine. " Beannachd leat Fhinn Mhic Cumhail," urs' an Gruagach 
ban, Mac Righ Eireann. ** Fhuair mise na bha mi 'g iarraidh, fradharc 
air gach cùis agus air gach gnothach, agus bidh mi 'nis a' tilleadh 
dhachaidh go pàileas m' athar fhin." ** 'S an aunn mur so a tha tha 
'brath mis' fUagail an d^ gach rud a rinn mi riat, — thu 'bhlth aig t^ 
VOL. n. 2 F 


eile, agos mise fEiiamhr' ''An e dn a tha thu Vàdh?" nrs* essn, 

'*Na *b saoiliunsa gon gabhadh sin dianadh, cha *n fhaca mi 

'mhnathan pòsda na diallainn riabh na ghabhainn a roighinn ort I 

Ach cha dian mise banais na pòsadh leat an so, ach falbhaidh tu go 

pàileas m' athar learn." Chaidh end go pàileas athar, e fhin, agus 

bean a chaol-chòt* uaine, agus Fionn. Fhuaradh pears' eaglais, agus 

phbs an Gmagaah ban agus bean a chaol-chòt' uaine. Binneadh 

banais shunndach, èibhinn, aighearach daibh. Thogadh ceòl agus 

leagadh brbn. Chuireadh biadh an ait' a chaitheadb, agus deoch an 

ait' a h-òl agus cebl an ait' ^isdeachd. Bha end a' caitheadh na 

cuirm agus na cuideachd gos an do chumadh suas a' bhanais ain la 

agus bliadhna le solas agus toileachas-inntinn. 

Alexander Mac Neill, Fisherman. 
Ten Tangval, Barra. 

This is another specimen of what is called Seanachas — one 
of those old Hi^land stories which in their telling resemble no 
others. Fionn and his comrades are mentioned as England is by 
Americans. They are the greatest of heroes, but only act as 
foils to one still greater. " The Britishers wop the world, and we 
wop the Britishers," say the Americans. And Gruagach Ban, 
the Irish chief, beats the Fingalians, who beat the world. It 
seems hopeless to search for the original of this, unless it is to be 
found in mythology. The history of the Island of Barra, and the 
name of the place where the story was told, suggest a mixture 
of Norse and Celtic mythology as the most probable. 

Fionn and his comrades are clearly Celtic worthies, and 
though they are usually brought down to be " militia ** raised in 
Ireland by a particular Irish king, at a certain date, I strongly 
suspect them to be divinities in disguise. The leader at one end 
of the net and all his comrades at the other, has a parallel in the 
Edda (page 76, Dasent's translation). 

*' When the net was made ready, then fared the Asa to the 
river, and cast the net into the force ; Thorr held one end and the 
other held all the Asa, and so they drew the net." 

And in other stories Fionn has part of the gear of Thorr in 
the shape of a hammer, whose stroke was beard over Eirinn and 
Lochlann, and which surely was a thunderbolt rather than the 
whistle of a militiaman. 

Fionn, too, has the character of the leader in all the old 


Western romances ; and in all mythology of which I know any- 
thing, he is the chief, but he is not the strongest ; he is the 
wisest, but there is always some power wiser and stronger than 

The dame of the Fine Green Kirtle, and the carlin with the 
wonderfol deer, were both able to perform feats which the Feen 
could not equal, and they with their magic arts overcame the 
heroes, as the Fates ruled Jupiter and the Nomir ruled men, 
though there were Greek and Norse gods and goddesses in plenty. 
So King Arthur was chief but not the most valiant, the wisest 
but not the best of his time. And so in the Niebelungen Lied there 
was always a hero greater than the great man. And here seems 
to be something of the same kind in this Gaelic story. 

The wife of the Tree Lion in her magic castle, and the leap- 
ing man in disguise, who carries the wooer, are characters which 
may be traced in the old German romance, and the incidents 
have a parallel in the Volsung tale, as its outline is given in the 
Norse Tales. There, too, is a lady to be won^ and an obstacle 
to be surmounted; and a steed which springs over it, and a dis- 
guised worthy, more valiant than the chief. 

The transformation into many shapes is a very common inci- 
dent in Gaelic tales. It is common to Norse, to Mr. Peter 
Bnchan^s Scotch MS. Collection ; and is somewhat like a story 
in the Arabian Nights where a princess fights a genius. 

The dame of the Fine Green Kirtle is a common character in 
Gaelic tales. In Sutherland she was mentioned as seen about 
hills. She is always possessed of magic powers ; and I know 
nothing like her in other collections. The carlin with the 
deer is to be traced in the Irish tales published by Mr. Simpson, 
and in Breton tales and poems, and in Welsh stories ; and she is 
at least as old as Diana and the Sacred Hind with golden horns and 
brazen feet, which Hercules caught after a year's chase, which 
Diana snatched from him, reprimanding him severely for molest- 
ing an animal sacred to her. 


From John MacGilvray, Colonsay. 

THEEE was before now a king of Eirinn, and he 
went himself, and his people, and his warriors, 
and his nobles, and his great gentles, to the hill of 
hunting and game. They sat on a hillock coloured 
green colour, where the sun would rise early, and 
where she would set late. Said the one of swifter 
mouth than the rest. 

"Who now in the four brown* quarters of the 
universe would have the heart to put an affront and 
disgrace on the King of Eirinn, and he in the midst 
of the people, and the warriors, great gentles, and 
nobles of his own realm." 

" Are ye not silly," said the king ; " he might 
come, one who should put an affront and disgrace on 
me, and that ye could not pluck the worst hair in his 
beard out of it.*' 

It was thus it was. They saw the shadow of a 
shower coming from the western airt, and going to the 
eastern airt ;t and a rider of a black filly coming 
cheerily after it, 

* Probably a corruption, ruadh for roth, tbe four quarters of 
the wheel or circle of the universe. 

f That is against the sun, which is unlucky according to all 
popular mythology. 


As it were a warrior on the mountam shore, 

As a star over sparklings,* 

As a great sea over little pools, 

As a smith's smithy coal 

Being quenched at the river side ; 

So would seem the men and women of the world beside him, 

In figure, in shape, in form, and in visage. 

Then he spoke to them in the understanding, 
quieting, truly wise words of real knowledge ; and be- 
fore there was any more talk between them, he put 
over the fist and he struck the king between the mouth 
and the nose, and he drove out three of his teeth, and 
he caught them in his fist, and he put them in his 
pouch, and he went away. 

" Did not I say to you,"* said the king, " that one 
might come who should put an affront and disgrace on 
me, and that you could not pluck the worst hair in his 
beard out of it ! " 

Then his big son, the Knight of the Cairn, swore 
that he wouldn't eat meat, and that he wouldn't drink 
draught, and that he would not hearken to music, until 
he should take off the warrior that struck the fist on 
the king, the head that designed to do it. 

" Well," said the Knight of the Sword, " the very 
same for me, until I take the hand that struck the fist 
on the king from off the shoulder. 

There was one man with them there in the com- 
pany, whose name was Mac an Earraich uaine ri 
Gaisge, The Son of the Green Spring by Valour. 
" The very same for me," said he, " until I take out of 
the warrior who struck the fist on the king, the heart 
that thought on doing it." 

**Thou nasty creature!" said the Knight of the 
Caim, " what should bring thee with us 1 When we 

* Boineagan, small stars, minute points of light, v 



should go to valour, thou wouldst turn to weakness ; 
thou wouldst find death in boggy moss, or in rifts of 
rock, or in a land of holes, or in the shadow of a 'wall, 
or in some place." 

" Be that as it will, but I will go," said the Son 
of the Green Spring by Valour. 

The king's two sons went away. Glance that the 
Knight of the Cairn gave behind him, he sees the Son 
of the Green Spring by Valour following them. 

"What," said the Knight of the Cairn to the 
Knight of the Sword, "shall we do to him ?" 

" Do," said the Knight of the Sword, " sweep his 
head off." 

" Well," said the Knight of the Cairn, " we wiU 
not do that ; but there is a great crag of stone up 
here, and we will bind him to it." 

" 1 am willing to do that same," said the other. 

They bound him to the crag of stone to leave him 
till he should die, and they went away. Glance that 
the Knight of the Cairn gave behind him again, he 
sees him coming and the crag upon him. 

" Dost thou not see that one coming again, and 
the crag upon him !" said the Knight of the Cairn 
to the Knight of the Sword; "what shall we do 
to him 1" 

" It is to sweep the head off him, and not let him 
(come) further," said the Knight of the Sword. 

" We will not do that," said the Knight of the 
Cairn ; " but we will turn back and loose the crag off 
him. It is but a sorry matter for two full heroes like 
us ; though he should be with us, he will make a 
man to polish a shield, or blow a fire heap or some- 

They loosed him, and they let him come with 
them. . Then they went down to the shore ; then they 


got the ship, which was called an Iubhraoh Bhal- 
LAOH, The speckled barge.* 

They put her out, and they gave her prow to sea, and her stem 

to shore. • 
They hoisted the speckled, flapping, hare-topped sails 
Up against the tall, tough, splintery masts, 
They had a pleasant little hreeze as they might choose them selves, 
Would hring heather from the hill, leaf from grove, willow from 

its roots. 
Would put thatch of the houses in furrows of the ridges. 
The day that neither the son nor the father could do it» 
That same was neither little nor much for them, 
But using it and. taking it as it might come, 
The sea plunging and surging. 
The red sea the hlue sea lashing 
And striking hither and thither ahout her planks. 
The whorled dun whelk that was down on the ground of the 

Would give a shag on her gunwale and crack on her floor. 
She would cut a slender oaten straw with the excellence of her 


They gave three days driving her thus. " I my- 
self am growing tired of this," said the Knight of the 
Cairn to the Knight of the Sword. " It seems to me 
time to get news from the mast." 

" Thou thyself art the most greatly beloved here, 
oh Knight of the Cairn, and shew that thou wilt have 
honour going up ; and if thou goest not up, we will 
have the more sport with thee," said the Son of the 
Green Spring by Valour. 

Up went the Knight of the Cairn with a rush, and 
he fell down clatter in a faint on the deck of the ship. 

* These words would hear many translations according to 
dictionaries, such as the spotted stately woman, the variegated 
ahounding in hows. The meaning seems to he a gaily painted 


" It is ill thou hast done," said the Knight of the 

**Let us see if thyself be better ; and if thou be 
better, it will be shewn that thou wilt have more ^will 
to go on ; or else we will have the more sport -with 
thee,*' said the Son of the Green Spring by Valour. 

Up went the Knight of the Sword, and before he 
had reached but half the mast, he began squealing and 
squalling, and he could neither go up nor come down. 

" Thou hast done as thou wert asked ; and thou 
hast shewn that thou hadst the more respect for going 
up ; and now thou canst not go up, neither canst thou 
come down ! No warrior was I, nor half a warrior, 
and the esteem of a warrior was not mine at the time 
of leaving ; I was to find death in boggy moss, or in 
rifts of rock, or in the shade of a wall, or in some 
place ; and it were no effort for me to bring news from 
the mast." 

" Thou great hero ! " said the Knight of the Cairn, 
" try it." 

" A great hero am I this day, but not when leaving 
the town," sedd the Son of the Green Spring by 

He measured a spring from the ends of his spear 
to the points of his toes, and he was up in the cross- 
trees in a twinkling. 

" What art thou seeing Ì " said the Knight of the 

" It is too big for a crow, and it is too little for 
land," said he. 

" Stay, as thou hast to try if thou canst know what 
it is," said they to him ; and he stayed so for a while.* 

* The whole of this is drawn from the life of boatmen. The 
feat of climbing the mast of an open boat under sail is far from 
easy, and I have seen it done as a feat of strength and skill. 


" What art thou seeing now 1 " said they to him. 

" It is an island and a hoop of fire ahout it, flaming 
at either end ; and I think that there is not one war- 
rior in the great world that will go over the fire," said 

" Unless two heroes such as we go over it," said 

" I think that it was easier for you to hring news 
from the mast than to go in there," said he. 

" It is no reproach ! " said the Knight of the 

" It is not ; it is truth," said the Son of the Green 
Spring by Valour. 

They reached the windward side of the fire, and 
they went on shore ; and they drew the speckled 
barge up her own seven lengths on grey grass, with 
her mouth under her, where the scholars of a big town 
could neither make ridicule, scoffing, or mockery of 
her. They blew up a fire heap, and they gave three 
days and three nights resting their weariness. 

At the end of the three days they began at shar^)- 
ening their arms. 

" I," said the Knight of the Cairn, " am getting 
tired of this ; it seems to me time to get news from 
the isle." 

" Thou art thyself the most greatly beloved here," 
said the Son of the Green Spring by Valour, and go 
the first and try what is the best news that thou canst 
bring to us." 

The Knight of the Cairn went and he reached the 
fire ; and he tried to leap over it, and down he went 
into it to his knees, and he turned back, and there 
was not a slender hair or skin between his knees and 
his ankles, that was not in a crumpled fold about the 
mouth of the shoes. 


'*Ìa[e's bad, he's bad," said the Knight of the 

" Let us see if thou art better thyself, *' said the 
Son of the Green Spring by Valour. " Shew that 
thou wilt have the greater honour going on, or else we 
will have the more sport with thee." 

The Knight of the Sword went, and he reached 
the fire ; and he tried to leap over it, and down he 
went into it to the thick end of the thigh ; and he 
turned back, and there was no slender hair or skin be- 
tween the thick end of the thigh and the ankle that 
was not in a crumpled fold about the mouth of the shoes. 

"Well," said the Son of the Green Spring by 
Valour, "no warrior was I leaving the town, in your 
esteem ; and if I had my choice of arms and armour 
of all that there are in the great world, it were no 
effort for me to bring news from the isla" 

" If we had that thou shouldst have it," said the 
Knight of the Cairn. 

" Knight of the Cairn, thine own arms and armour 
are the second that I would rather be mine (of all) 
in the great world, although thou thyself art not the 
Second best warrior in it," said the Son of the Green 
Spring by Valour. 

" It is my own arms and array that are easiest to 
get," said the Knight of the Cairn, " and thou shalt 
have them ; but I should Hke that thou wouldst be so 
good as to tell me what other arms or array are better 
than mine." 

" There are the arms and array of the Great Son 
of the sons of the universe,* who struck the fist on thy 
father," said the Son of the Green Spring by Valour. 

The Knight of the Cairn put off his arms and 

* Mhacàibh Mhoib Mhachaibh ah Domhain; who this 
personage maj be I cannot even guess. 


array ; and the Son of the Green Spring hy Valour 
went into his arms and his array. 

He went into his harness of battle and hard combat, 

As was a shirt of smooth yellow silk and gauze stretched on his 

breast ; 
His coat, his kindly coat, above the kindly covering ; 
His boss covered ; hindering sharp-pointed shield on his left hand 
His head-dress a helm of hard combat, 
To cover his crown and his head top, 
To go in the front of the fray and the fray long lasting ; 
His heroes hard slasher in his right hand, 
A sharp surety knife against his waist. 

He raised himself up to the top of the shore ; and 
there was no turf he would cast behind his heels, that 
was not as deep as a turf that the bread covering tree* 
would cast when deepest it would be ploughing. He 
leached the circle of fire ; he leaped from the points 
of his spear to the points of his toes over the fire. 

Then 'there was the very finest isle that ever was 
seen from the beginning of the universe to the end of 
eternity ; he went up about the island, and he saw a 
yellow bare hill in the midst. He raised himself up 
against the hill ; there was a treasure of a woman sit- 
ting on the hill, and a great youth with his head on 
her knee, and asleep. He spoke to her in instructed, 
eloquent, true, wise, soft maiden words of true know- 
ledge. She answered in like words ; and if they were 
no better, they were not a whit worse, for the time. 

" A man of thy seeming is a treasure for me ; and 
if I had a right to thee, thou shouldst not leave the 
island," said the little treasure. 

" K a man of my seeming were a treasure for thee, 
thou wouldst tell me what were waking for that youth," 
said the Son of the Green Spring by Valour. 

t Dalla ohbanh abaih, a plough. 


" It is to take off the point of his little finger," 
said she. 

He laid a hand on the sharp surety knife that was 
against his waist, and he took the little finger off him 
from the root. That made the youth neither shrink 
nor stir. 

" Tell me what is waking for the youth, or else there 
are two off whom I will take the heads, thyself and the 
youth," said the Son of the Green Spring by Valour. 

" Waking for him," said she," is a thing that thou 
canst not do, nor any one warrior in the great world, but 
the warrior of the red shield, of whom it was in the pro- 
phecies that he should come to this island, and strike 
yonder crag of stone on this man in the rock of his 
chest ; and he is unbaptized till he does that." 

He heard this that such was in the prophecy for 
him, and he unnamed. A fist upon manhood, a fist 
upon strengthening, and a fist upon power went into 
him. He raised the crag in his two hands, and he 
struck it on the youth in the rock of his chest The 
one who was asleep gave a slow stare of his two eyes, 
and he looked at him. 

" Aha V* said the one who was asleep, " hast thou 
come, warrior of the Red Shield. It is this day that 
thou hast the name; thou wilt not stand long to ma" 

" Two thirds of thy fear be on thyself, and one on 
me," said the Warrior of the Red Shield ; " thou wilt 
not stand long to me." 

In each other's grips they went, and they were 
hard belabouring each other till the mouth of dusk and 
lateness was. The Warrior of the Red Shield thought 
that he was far from his friends and near his foe ; he 
gave him that little light lift, and he struck him against 
the earth ; the thumb of his foot gave a warning to the 
root of his ear, and he swept the head off him. 


" Though it he I who have done this, it was not I 
who promised it," said he. 

He took the hand off him from the shoulder, and 
he took the heart from his chest, and he took the head 
off the neck ; he put his hand in the dead warrior's 
pouch, and he found three teeth of an old horse in it, 
and with the hurry he took them for the king's teeth, 
and he took them with him ; and he went to a tuft of 
wood, and he gathered a withy, and he tied on it the 
hand and the heart and the head. 

" Whether wouldst thou rather stay here on this 
island by thyself, or go with me Ì" said he to the little 

" I would rather go with thee thyself, than with 
all the men of earth's mould together," said the little 

He raised her with him on the shower top of his 
shoulders, and on the burden (bearing) part of his 
back, and he went to the fire. He sprang over with 
the little treasure upon him. He sees the Ejiight of 
the Cairn and the Knight of the Sword coming to meet 
him ; rage and fury in their eyes. 

" What great warrior," said they, " was that after 
thee there, and returned when he saw two heroes like 

" Here's for you," said he, '* this little treasure of 
a woman, and the three teeth of your father ; and the 
head, and hand, and heart of the one who struck the 
fist on him. Make a little stay and I will return, and 
I will not leave a shred of a tale in the island." 

He went away back ; and at the end of a while he 
cast an eye behind him, and he sees them and the 
speckled barge playing him ocean hiding. 

" Death wrappings upon yourselves ! " said he, " a 
tempest of blood about your eyes, the ghost of your 


hanging be upon you ! to leave me in an island by 
myself^ without the seed of Adam in it, and that I 
should not know this night what I shall do." 

He went forward about the island, and was seeing 
neither house nor tower in any place, low or high. At 
last he saw an old castle in the lower ground of tlie 
island, and he took (his way) towards it He sa^nr 
three youths coming heavily, wearily, tired to the 
castle. He spoke to them in instructed, eloquent, 
true, wise words of true wisdom. They spoke in re- 
turn in like words. 

They came in words of the olden time on each, 
other ; and who were here but his three true foster bro- 
thers. They went in right good pleasure of mind to 
the big town. 

They raised up masic and laid down woe ; 
There were soft drunken draughts 
And harsh, stammering drinks, 
Tranquil, easy toasts 
Between himself and his foster brethren, 
Music between fiddles, with which would sleep 
Wounded men and travailing women 
Withering away for ever ; with the sound of that music 
. Which was ever continuing sweetly that night. 

They went to lie down. In the morning of the 
morrow he arose right well pleased, and he took his 
meat. What should he hear but the gliogabsaich, 
clashing of arms and men going into their array. Who 
were these but his foster brethren. 

" Where are you going Ì " said he to them. 

" We are from the end of a day and a year in 
this island,'' said they, "holding battle against Mac- 
Dorcha MacDoilleir, the son of darkness son of dim- 
ness, and a hundred of his people ; and every one we 


kill to-day they will be alive to-morrow. Spells are on 
us that we may not leave this for ever until we kill 

" I will go with you this day ; you will be the better 
for me," said he. 

" Spells are on us," said they, " that no man may 
go with us unless he goes there alone." 

" Stay you within this day, and I will go there by 
myself," said he. 

He went away, and he hit upon the people of the 
Son of Darkness Son of Dimness, and he did not 
leave a head on a trunk of theirs. 

He hit upon MacDorcha MacDoilleir himself and 
MacDorcha MacDoilleir said to him, 

" Art thou here, Warrior of the Bed Shield ?" 

" I am," said the Warrior of the Eed Shield. 

" Well then," said MacDorcha MacDoilleir, " thou 
wilt not stand long for me." 

In each other's grips they went, and were hard be- 
labouring each other till the mouth of dusk and late- 
ness was. At last the Knight of the Eed Shield gave 
that cheery little light lift to the Son of Darkness Son 
of Dimness, and he put him under, and he cast the 
head off him. 

Now there was MacDorcha MacDoilleir dead, and 
his thirteen sons ; and the battle of a hundred on the 
hand of each one of them. 

Then he was spoUt and torn so much that he could 
not leave the battle-field ; and he did but let himself 
down, laid amongst the dead the length of the day. 
There was a great strand under him down below ; and 
what should he hear but the sea coming as a blazing 
brand of fire, as a destroying serpent, as a beUowing 
bull ; he looked from him, and what saw he coming 
on shore on the midst of the strand, but a great toothy 


carlin, whose like was never seen. There was the 
tooth that was longer than a staff in her fist, and the 
one that was shorter than a stocking wire in her lap. 
She came up to the hattle-field, and there were two 
between her and him. She put her finger in their 
mouths, and she brought them ahve ; and they rose 
up whole as best as they ever were. She reached him 
and she put her finger in his mouth, and he snapped 
it off her from the joint. She struck him a blow of 
the point of her foot, and she cast him over seven 

" Thou pert little wretch," said she, " thou art the 
last I will next-live* in the battle field." 

The carlin went over another, and he was above 
her ; he did not know how he should put an end to 
the carlin ; he thought of throwing the short spear that 
her son had at her, and if the head should fall off her 
that was weU. He threw the spear, and he drove the 
head off the carlin. Then he was stretched on the 
battle-field, blood and sinews and flesh in pain, but 
that he had whole bones. What should he see but 
a musical harper about the field. 

" What art thou seeking Ì " said he to the harper. 

" I am sure thou art wearied," said the harper ; 
*' come up and set thy head on this little hillock and 

He went up and he laid down ; he drew a snore, 
pretending that he was asleep, and on his soles he was 
brisk, swift, and active. 

" Thou art dreaming," said the harper. 

" I am," said he. • 

" What sawest thou ?" said the harper. 

* Ath BHE0THAI0HEÀ8 ', there is no such verb in finglish, 
hat to next-live expresses the meaning. 



"A musical harper," lie said, "drawing a rusty 
old sword to take off my head," 

Then he seized the harper, and he drove the brain 
in fiery slivers through the back of his head. 

Then he was under spells that he should not kill a 
musical harper for ever, but with his own harp. 

Then he heard weeping about the field. " Who 
is that?" said he. 

" Here are thy three true foster brothers, seeking 
thee from place to place to-day," said they. 

" I am stretched here," said he, " blood and sinews, 
and bones in torture.*' 

" K we had the little vessel of balsam that the 
great carlin has, the mother of MacDorcha MacDoilleir, 
we would not be long in healing thee," said they. 

" She is dead herself up there," said he, " and she 
has nothing that ye may not get" 

"We are out of her spells forever,'' said they. 

They brought down the little vessel of balsam, 
and they washed and bathed him with the thing that 
was in the vessel ; then he arose up as whole and 
healthy as he ever was. He went home with them, 
and they passed the night in great pleasure. 

They went out the next day in great pleasure 
to play at shinny. He went against the three, and 
he would drive a half hail down, and a half hail up, 
in against them. 

They perceived the Great Son of the Sons of 
the World coming to the town ; that was their 
true foster brother* also. They went out where he 
was, and they said to him — 

" Man of my love, avoid us and the town this day." 

" What is tìie cause ?" said he. 

* Deabbh CHOXHALTA ; this muBt mean sometbing besides 
true foster brother. 

VOL. IL 2 G 


" The Knight of the Bed Shield is within, and it 
is thou he is seeking," said they. 

" Gk) you home, and say to him to go away and to 
flee, or else that I will tsJ^e the head off him," said 
the Great Son of the Sons of the Universe. 

Though this was in secret, the Knight of the Red 
Shield perceived it ; and he went out on the other 
side of the house, and he struck a shield blow, and a 
flght kindling. 

The great warrior went out after him, and they be- 
gan at each other. 

There was no trick that is done hy shield man or skiff mao. 

Or with cheater's dice box, 

Or with organ of the monks, 

That the heroes conld not do ; 

As was the trick of cleiteam, trick of oigeah,* 

The apple of the juggler throwing it and catching it 

Into each other's laps 

Frightfully, furiously, 

Bloodily, groaning, hurtfully. 

Mind's desire ! umpire's choice ! 

They wonld drive three red sparks of fire from their armour. 

Driving Trom the shield wall, and flesh 

Of their breasts and tender bodies, 

As they hardly belaboured each other. 

" Art thou not silly. Warrior of the Red Shield, 
when thou art holding wrestling and had battle against 
uie Ì " said Macabh Mhacaibh an Domhain. 

" How is this 1" said the hero of the Eed Shield 
" It is, that there is no warrior in the great world 
that will kill me till I am struck above the covering 
of the trews," said Macabh Mor.f 

* These may mean the pen trick — the trick of writing ; but I 
am not certain. 

t From which it appears that he was too tall to be reached by 
the other. 


"The victory blessing of that be thine telling 
it to me I If thou hadst told me that a long time ago, 
it is long since I had swept the head off thee/' said 
the Warrior of the Ked Shield. 

" There is in that more than thou canst do ; the 
king's three teeth are in my pouch, and try if it be 
thou that will take them out,'' said Macabh Mor. 

When the Warrior of the Ked Shield heard where 
the death of Macabh Mor was, he had two blows given 
for the blow, two thrusts for the thrust, two stabs for 
the stab ; and the third was into the earth, till he had 
dug a hole ; then he sprung backwards. The great 
warrior sprung towards him, and he did not notice the 
hole, and he went down into it to the covering of the 
trews. Then he reached him, and he cast off his head. 
He put his hand in his pouch, and he found the king's 
three teeth in it, and he took them with him and he 
reached the castle. 

" Make a way for me for leaving this island," said 
he to his foster brethren, "as soon as you can." 

" We have no way," said they, " by which thou 
canst leave it ; but stay with us forever, and thou 
shalt not want for meat or drink." 

" The matter shall not be so ; but unless you make 
a way for letting me go, I will take the heads and 
necks out of you," said he. 

" A coracle that thy foster mother and thy foster 
father had, is here ; and we will send it with thee till 
thou goest on shore in Eirinn. The side that thou 
settest her prow she will go with thee, and she mil 
return back again by herself ; here are three pigeons 
for thee, and they will keep company with thee on the 
way," said his foster brothers to him. 

He set the coracle out, and he sat in her, and he 
made no stop, no stay, till he went on shore in Eirinn. 


He turned her prow outwards ; and if she was swift 
coming, she was swifter returning. He let away the 
three pigeons, as he left the strange country ; and he 
was sorry that he had let them away, so heautiful was 
the music that they had.* 

There was a great river between him and the king's 
house. When he reached the river, he saw a hoary 
man coming with all his might, and shouting, " Oh, 
gentleman, stay yonder until I take you over on my 
back, in case you should wet yourself." 

" Poor man, it seems as if thou wert a porter on 
the river," said he. 

" It is (so)," said the hoary old man. 

" And what set thee there Ì " said he. 

" I will tell you that," said the hoary old man ; " a 
big warrior struck a fist on the King of Eirinn, and he 
drove out three of his teeth, and his two sons went to 
take out vengeance ; there went with them a foolish 
little young boy that was son to me ; and when they 
went to manhood, he went to faintness. It was but 
sorry vengeance for them to set me as a porter on the 
river for it." 

" Poor man," said he, " that is no reproach ; be- 
fore I leave the town thou wilt be well." 

He seized him, and he lifted him with him ; and 
he set him sitting in the chair against the king's 

" Thou art but a saucy man that came to the town ; 
thou hast set that old carl sitting at my father's shoul- 
der ; and thou shalt not get it with thee," said the 
Knight of the Caim, as he rose and seized him. 

" By my hand, and by my two hands' redemption, it 
were as well for thee to seize Cnoc Leothaid as to seize 

* In another yersion pigeons were his foster brothers trans- 


me," said the Warrior of the Eed Shield to him, as he 
threw him down against the earth. 

He laid on him the binding of the three smalls, 
straitly and painfully. He struck him a blow of the 
point of his foot, and he cast him over the seven high- 
est spars that were in the court, under the drippings 
of the lamps, and under the feet of the big dogs ; and 
he did the very same to the Knight of the Sword ; 
and the little treasure gave a laugh. 

" Death wrappings be upon thyself ! " said the king 
to her. " Thou art from a year's end meat companion, 
and drink companion for me, and I never saw smile 
or laugh being made by thee, until my two sons are 
being disgraced." 

" Oh, king," said she, " I have knowledge of my 
own reason." 

" What, oh king, is the screeching and screaming 
that I am hearing since I came to the town Ì I never 
got time to ask till now,*' said the hero of the Eed 

" My sons have three horses' teeth, driving them 
into my head, since the beginning of a year, with a 
hammer, until my head has gone through other with 
heartbreak and torment, and pain," said the king. 

" What wouldst thou give to a man that would put 
thy own teeth into thy head without hurt, without 
pain," said he. 

" Half my state so long as I may be alive, and my 
state altogether when I may go," said the king. 

He asked for a can of water, and he put the teeth 
into the water. 

" Drink a draught," said he to the king. 

The king drank a draught, and his own teeth went 
into his head, firmly and strongly, quite as well as 
they ever were, and every one in her own place. 


" Aha ! " said the king, " I am at rest It is thou 
that didst the valiant deeds ; and it was not my set of 
sons ! " 

" It is he," said the little treasure to the king, 
" that could do the valiant deeds ; and it was not thy 
set of shambling sons, that would be stretched as sea- 
weed seekers when he was gone to heroism." 

" I will not eat meat, and I will not drink dranght," 
said the king, " until I see my two sons being burnt 
to-morrow. I will send some to seek faggots of grey 
oak for burning them." 

On the morning of the morrow, who was earliest 
on his knee at the king's bed, but the Warrior of the 
Eed Shield. 

" Eise from that-, warrior ; what single thing 
mightest thou be asking that thou shouldst not get," 
said the king. 

"The thing I am asking is, that thy two sons 
should be let go ; I cannot be in any one place where 
I may see them spoiled," said he. " It were better 
to do bird and fool clipping to them, and to let them 
go. I 

The king was pleased to do that Bird and fool I 
clipping was done to them. They were put out of 
their place, and dogs and big town vagabonds after 

The Uttle treasure and the Warrior of the Red 
Shield married, and agreed. A great wedding was 
made, that lasted a day and a year ; and the last day 
of it was as good as the first day. 



BiiA ann roimbe seo Righ Eireann 's dh* fholbh e fh^in, 'sa shluagh 
agas a laochraidh, 's a mhaithean, 's a mhòraaìslean do 'n bheinn 
shithinn agas sheilg. Sbuidh ad air cnocaa dath-uaine daite, far an 
eireadh grian gu moch agns an laidheadh i gu h-anmoch. Thtiirt 
am fear a bu laaithe beal na *cbèile. 

** Co 'neis, ann an ceitbir ranna ruath an domhain, aig am biodh a 
chridhe tar agas tailceas a dhèanadh air Righ Eireann, 's e am 
meadhon slòigh agas laochraidb, mbruaislean a^s maithean a riogh- 
achd fh^in." 

** Nach amaideach sibh," ars' an righ, " dh' fhaodadh e tighinn 
fear a dheanadh thr agas tailceas armsa, 's nach b' arrainn sibh an 
rioba 'bn mheasa 'na fhensaig a thoirt aisde." 

'S ann mar seo a bha. Channaic ad dabhradh frois' a' tighinn 
bho 'n aird an iar, 's a' triall do 'n aird an ear, — ^'S marcaiche fàlaire 
doighe 'tighinn ga sanndach 'na d^igh. 

Mar a bu charaidh air tir na sl^ibhte, 
Mar real air na rionnagan, 
Mar mhair mòr air lodannan. 
Mar ghaal guibhne gobha 
'Ga bbàthadh aig taobh na h-abhann ; 

'S ann mar sean a dh' amhairceadh tir agus mnathan an domh- 
ain lamb ris, 
An dealbh, *8 an dreach, san crath, agas an aogas. 

Labhair e dhaibh, an sean, ann am briathra fiosneacha, foisne, 
acha, f lor-ghlic, tior-eòlais ; 's ma 'n robh taillidh seanachais eatorra 
chair e thairis an dom, 's bhuail e 'n righ eadar am beul 's an t-srbn 
's chair e tri fiaclan as, 's cheap e 'na dhorn ad, 's chair A'na phòc 
ad, 's dh' fbalbh e. 

** Nach d' thubhairt mi, rnibh," ars' an righ, <<gam faodadh e tighinn 
fear a dheanudli tàir agus tailceas ormsa, 's nach b' arrainn sibh an 
rioba 'bu mhea>a 'na fhensaig a thoirt aisde." Bhòidich an seo a 
mhac mòr, ridir' a' chtiirn, nach itheadh e biadh, a's nach òladh e 
deoch, a's nach (fisdeadh e ceòl, gas an d' thugadh e, bhkr a' ghaisg- 
ijh a bhuail an dom air an righ, an ceann a dbealbh a dheanadb. 

** Mata," orsa ridir' a' chlaidbimh, " an t-aon ciadhna dhomhsa, 
gus an d' thoir mi 'n lamb, a bhuail an dom air an righ, o*n ghual- 
ainn deth." 

Bha aon fhear leo, an sean, 's a* chmdeachd d* am b' unm Mac 


an Earraich uaine ri Gaisge, " An t-aon ciadhna domhBa," ars' esan, 
" gas an d' thoir mi, as a' ghaisgeach a bhnail an dom air an righ, 
an cridhe 'smaointich air a dhèanadh.*' 

"Thus* a bheathaich mhosaich," orsa Ridire ChUim, **dè 'bheir 
thusa leinn ? Nur a rachamaidne air thapadh, rachadh tus'Jair mhi- 
thapadb. Geobhadb ta bàs am mòintìcb bhuig, na 'n sgeilpe chrea^, 
na 'n talamh toll, na 'n sgàth gàrraidb, na 'n àit-eigìn." 

** Biodb sin 's a roghainn da acb falbbaidh mi," orsa Mac an 
Earraich uaine ri Gaisge. 

Dh' fhalbh da mhac an righ. Siol gu 'n dug Ridire a Cbiiim as 
a dhèigh as faicear Mac an Earraich uaine ri Gaisge 'gan leantoinn. 

** Gn-dè/' orsa Ridire 'Chuim ri Ridire 'Chlaidhimh, ** a ni sinn 

<*Ni," orsa Ridire 'Chlaidhimh, <'an ceann a sgathadh dheth." 
"Mata," orsa Ridire 'Chhirn, '<cha dean sinn sean; ach tha carragh 
mòr cloiche shuas an seo aeus ceanghlaidh sinn ris e." 

** Tha mi toileach sean fh^in a dheanadh," ors* am fear eile. 

Cheanghail ad ris a' charragh chloich* e, an los fhàgail gas am 
bàsaicheadh e, 's ghabh ad air falbh. Stiil gun d' thug Ridire 'Chuim 
a rithiad as a dh^igh, 's faicear a' tighinn e, 's an carragh air a 

" Nach fhaic thn, neis, am fear sean a' tighinn a rithisd, 'a an 
carragh air a mhuin," orsa Ridire 'Chiiim ri Ridire ChlaidhirolL. 

'* Tha 'n ceann a sgathadh dheth 's gan a leigeil na *s fhaide," orsa 
Ridire 'Chlaidhimh. 

** Cha dean sinn sean," orsa Ridire 'Chùim, <'ach tillidh sinn agus 
fuasglaidh sinn an carragh dheth. Is suarrnch d' ar leithidne do dha 
làn-ghaisgeach gad a bhiodh e leinn ; ni e fear ghlanadh sgiath, na 
sheideach thhrlach, na rud-eigin." 

Dh' fhtasgail ad e agus leig ad leo e. Ghabh ad a sios an seo 
thun a' chladaich. Fhnair ad an sean an long ris an abradh ad, an 
lubhrach bhallach. 

Chuir ad a mach i, 's thug ad a toiseach do mhuir, 's a deireadh 

do thir. 
Thog ad pa siuil bhreaca, bhaidealacha, bhàrr-rùisgte. 
An aodann nan crann fada, fulannach, fiiighaidh. 
Bha soirbheas beag, laghach aca mar a thaghadh ad fh^ 
'Bheireadh fraghach* a beinn, duilleach a coill, seileach a a 


* Fraghach, same as fraoch, heather. 


'Chuireadh tutha nan taighean ann an claisean nan ìomairean, 

An latha nach deanadh am mac na "n t-athair e. 

Gha bu bbeag 's cha bu mbor leòsan sean fhe' 

Ach 'ga caitheadh, 's 'ga ghabhail mar a thigeadh e. 

An fhaiige 'fulpanaich 's a' falpanaìch ; — 

An lear dearg 's an lear uaine 'lachannaich, 

'S a' bualadh thall 's a bhos ma bòrdaibh. 

An fliaocbag chrom chiar a bba shìos an grannd an aigein, 

Bheireadh i snag air a beul-mòr agus cnag air a b-urlar. 

Ghearradb i cuìnnlein caol coìrce le f heobhas 's a dh' fhalbbadh i. 

Thug ad trì lathan 'ga caitheadh mar sean. 

<'Tha mi fhèin a' fìis sgìth dheth seo," orsa Ridire Ghtdrn ri 
Ridire Chlaidhimh ; " bu mhìthidh leam sgeul fhaotaìnn as a' 

*' 'S tu fh^in a *s raòr-ionmbmuneach ann a Ridire Chìiim, agas 
leig fliaicinn gu 'm bi sp^is agad a dhol suas; agus mar an d* tbèid 
thu suas bidh am barrachd spòrs againn ort," orsa Mac an Earraich 
uaine ri Gaisge. Suas a ghabh Ridire Chùirn le roid, 's thuit e nuas 
'na ghlag paiseanaidh air clar^uachrach na luinge. 

"'S dona 'fhuaras tu," orsa Ridire Chlaidhimh. 

** Faiceam an tu fh^in 'is fèarr ; 's ma 's tu 's feàrr leigear fhaicinn 
gum bi barrachd toil agad dol air t' aghaidh, air-neo bidh am barr-t 
achd spòrs againn ort," orsa Mac an Earraich uaine ri Gaisge. 

Snas a ghabh Ridire 'Chlaidhimh, 's ma 'n d' ràinig e ach leith a' 
chroinn thòisich e air sgiamhail 's air sgreadail, 's cha b' urrainn e 
dol a suas na tighinn a nuas. 

** Rinn tbu mar a dh' iarradh ort, 's leig thu fhaicinn gun robh am 
barrachd speis agad a dhol suas ; 's a neis cha d' theid thusa suas, 's 
cha mhotha 'thig thu nuas ! Cha ghaisgeach mise, 's cha leith ghaisg- 
each mi, 's cha robh meas gaisgich orm an am fagoil." Gheobhainn 
has am mòintich bhoig na 'n sgeiipe chreag, na 'n sgàth gàrraidh, na 
'n àit-eigin, ** agus cha bu spàìm orm sgeul a thoirt as a' chrann," 
orsa Mac an Earraich uaine ri Gaisge. 

** A shaoidh mhòir," orsa Ridire 'Chtiim, "feuch ris." 

'* Is saoidh mbr mi 'n diugh ; ach cha b' eadh a' fàgail a* bhaile," 
orsa Mac an Earraich uaine ri Gaisge. 

Thomhais e leum bho cheannaibh a shleagh gu barraibh ordag, 's 
bha e shuas a chlisgeadh anns a' chrannaig. 

«Gu-dè 'tha thu 'faicinnV" orsa Ridire 'Chuim. 

** Tha e ro mhòr do dh' fheannaig 's tha e ro bheag do dh* fhear- 
ann," ore' esan. 


*' Fan mar a th* agad feuch an aithnich thn d^ 'th' ann,^ ors' ad 
ris, 's dh' fhan e mar seo treis. 

" Tie 'tha thu 'faicinn a neis ? " ors' ad ris. 

" Tha eilean agns cearcall teine ma 'n cnairt air, a' lasadh an ceann 
a chèìle ; 's tha mi 'smaointeachadh nach 'eil aon ghaisgeach anns an 
domhan mhbr a theid thairis air an teine,** ara' esan. 

'* Mar an d* th^id ar leithidne de dba ghùsgeach thairis air," ors 

<<Tha dhir am gum b' fhasa dhuibh sgenl a thoirt as a' chrann 
na dol a staigh an siod," ars' eisean. 

'* Cha'n athais e ? ** orsa Ridire Chiiim. 

•*Cha'n eadh, 's firinn el" orsa Mac an Earraich uaine ri Gaisge. 
' Ràinig ad an taobh muin de 'n teine, *s chaidh ad air tir, 's tharruinn 
ad an lubhrach bhallach snas a seachd fad fhèin air feur glas, 's a 
beul fòiche, far nach deanadh sgoilearan baile-mhòir bùirt, na focfa- 
aid, na magadh nrra. Sbèid ad thrlach, *s thug ad tri oidhchean a's 
tri lathan a' leigeil an pgios. 

An ceann nan tri lathan thòisich ad air liobhadh nan arm. 

" Tha mi," orsa Ridire Chxiim, " a' fìis sgìth dheth seo, bu mhith- 
ich leam sgeul fhaotainn as an eilean." 

*• *S tu f h^in," orsa Mac an Earraich uaine ri Gaisge, is mòr- 
ionmhuinneach ann, agus folbh an toiseach feuch d^ 'n sgeul a's 
fhèarr a bheir thu a'r ionnsuidh." 

Dh' fhalbh ridire chhim, 's ràinig e 'n teine, 's thug e làmh air 
leum thairte, 's a sios a gbabh e innte g'a ghlidnean ; 's thill e air 
ais, 's cha robh rioba caoillejj na craicinn eadar a ghliiinean *s a 
mhuthaimean nach robh 'na chuaran raa bheul nam bròg. 

**'S don' e, 's don' e," orsa Ridire 'Chlaidhimh. 

** Feiceam an tu fh^in a 's f hèarr," orsa Mac an Earraich uaine ri 
Gaisge. **Leigfhaicinngum bi barrachd sp^is agad a' dhol air t' 
aghaidh, air-neo bidh am borrachd spòrs againn ort" 

Dh' fhalbh Ridire 'Chlaidhimh, 's rkinig e 'n teine;, 's thug e làmh 
air leum thairte, 's chaidh e sios innte gu ceann ramhar na sMisde, 's 
thill e air ais, 's cha robh rioba caoille na craicinn eadar ceann ramh- 
ar na sHisde 's am muthaim nach robh 'na chuaran ma bheul nam 

** Mata," orsa Mac an Earraich uaine ri Gaisge, '* cha bu ghaisg- 
each mise an am fkgail a' bhaile 'nur beachd-sa ; 's na 'm biodh mo 
rogha arm a's ^ididh agam de na 'bheil anns an domhan mhbr, cha 
bu spàirn orm sgeul a thoirt as an eilean." 

''Na'm biodh sean againn gheobhadh tus' e,"or8a Ridire 'Chtiim. 
'* A Ridire 'Chiiim, b' e t' airm agus t' èideadh fh^in dama ainn 


agus ^ideadh a Vfhèarr leam agam annsan domhan mhor; gad nach 
tu fh^in dama gaisgeach a *8 fhèarr a th' ann," arsa Mac an Earraìch 
uaine ri Gaisge. 

^* 'Se m' airm agos m* èideadh fh^ia a 's fbasa fhaotainn/* orsa 
Ridire 'Chuirn, " agus gheobh thus' ad ; ach b' fhèarr leum gum 
biodh ta cho math 's gan innseadh tu dhomh co na h-airm agus an 
t-èideadh eile 's fbèarr na oi' fheadhainn-sa." 

Tha airm agas èideadh Mhacaibh mhoir Mhacaibh an Domhaìn a 
bhuail an dom air t' athair," orsa Mac an Earraich uaìne ri Gaìsge. 

Chuir Rìdire ChUirn dheth airm agus èididh, 's ghabh Mac an 
Earraich ri Gaisge nah-airm agus na h<èididb. 

Ghabh e 'na threall-aichean cath agus cruaidh-chòmhraig. 

Mar a bhaleine 'n t-sròl *8 a'n t-sioda shieamhuinn bhuidhe sinte 
r'a chneas, 

A* chbtainn caomh cotain air uachdar na caomh chotaige, 

A sgiath bhucaideach, bhacaideach, bharra-chaol air a làimh chlè, 

A cbeanna-bheart, clogada cruaidh-chòmhraig 

A' coiinhead a chiun, 's a cheanna-mhullaich, 

An toiseach na h-iorguill,— 'san iorguill an-diomain, 

A shlacanta cruaidh curaidh 'na làimh dheis, 

Urra-sgithinn gheur an taice r'a chneas. 

Thog e suas bràigh a' chladaich, 's cha robh fbid a thilgeadh e'n 
d^igh a shàlach nach robh cho domhainn ri fbid a, thilgeadh dalla- 
ehrann arain nur a bu doimhne 'bhiodh e 'treobhadh. Eàinig e'n 
cearcall teine. Leuiu e o bharraibh a shleagh gu borraibh òrdag 
thar na teine. Bha 'n sean an aon eilean a bu bhòibhche 'chunneas 
o thus an domhain gu deireadh na dilinn. Ghabh e suas feadh an 
eilean 's chunnaic e cnoc maol buidhe 'na mheadhou. Thog e ris a' 
chnoc Bha lonmhuinn mhnatha 'na suidhe air a' chnoc, 's òglach 
mòr 's a cheann air a glim, 's e 'na chadal. Labhair e rithe ann am 
briathra fisneacha, foisneacha, fior-ghlic, mine, maighdeana, fior- 
eolais. Fhreagair ise anns na briathra ciadhna ; 's mar am b' ad a 
b' fhèarr, cha b' kd dad a bu mheasa 's an am. 

" 'S ioDmhuinn leam fh^in fear do choltais, 's na'm biodii coir 
agam ort-dh' fhàgadh ta'n t-eilean," ors' an lonmhuinn. 

'* Nam b' ionmhuinn leat fear mo choslais dh' innseadh tu 
domh d^ 'bu diisgadh do 'n òlach seo," orsa Mac an Earraich uaine 
ri Gaisge. 

** Tha bàrr na laodaig a thoirt deth " ors' ise. 

Thug e Ikmh air an urra-sgithinn gh^ir a bha 'n taice r'a chneas, 


'b thag e'li laodag deth o*n bhun. Cba d* thug siod emoidleacLadh na 
gluasad air an òglach. 

Innifl domh de 's dUsgadh do'n òglach ; — air neo 's dithisd deth an 
d' thoir mi na cinn thu fhèin *s an t-òglach ! orsa Mac an Earraich 
naine ri Gaisge. 

'* 'S dhsgadh dha,** ors' ise, ** rnd nach dean thusa, na aon gbaisg- 
each anns an domhan mhòr, ach gaisgeach na sgiatha deirge, do'n 
robh e 'a an talrgneachd tighinn do^n eilean seo, agus an carragh cloich* 
ud thall a bhualadh air an duine seo ann an carraig an uchd ; 's tha e 
gan bhaisteadh gas an dean e sean." 

Chual eisean seo, gn' robh leithid anns an tairgneachd dha, *8 e 
gun bhaisteadh. Cbaidh dom air thapadh, 's dòm air ghleusadh, 's 
dom air spionnadh ann. Thog e 'na dha làimh an carragh 's bhuail e 
air an òlach mhòr an carraig an uchd e. Thug am fear a bha 'na 
chadal blaomadh air a dha shuil 's dh' amharc e air. *' Aha," ors' am 
fear a bha 'na chadal, ^* an d' thainig tbu 'ghaisgich na Sgiatha deirge ? 
's ann an diugh a tha 'n t-alnm ort. Cha*n fhada 'sheasas thu dbomhsa." 

" Da thrian de t* eagal ort fh^in, 's a' h-aon ormsa,'* ar^a Gaisg- 
each na Sgiatha deirge, ** cha 'n fhad' a sheasas thasa domhsa." 

An caraibh a chèile ghabh ad, 's bha ad a' cruaidh leadairt a chèile 
gus an robh an beul ath-dhatli 'san anmoich ann. Smaointich 
Gaisgeach na Sgiatha deirge gun robh e fad' a chairdean 's fagos 
d'a naimhdean, 's thug e'n togail bheag, shoilleir ud air, 's bhuail e 
ris an talamh e. Thug ordag a choise sanus do bhun a chluaise, 
agus sgath e dheth an ceann. 

" Gad is mi 'rinn seo cha mhi 'gheall e," ors' esan. Thug e'n 
lamb o'n ghuallainn deth, 's thug e'n cridhe a a chom, 's thug e'n 
ceann bhar a mhuineil. Chuir e 'lamb am pòc' a' ghaisgich mhairbh, 
's fhuair e tri fiaclan seann eich ann, 's, leis an deifir, ghabh e'n kite 
fiaclan an righ ad, 's thug e leis ad. Chaidh e gu torn coille, 's 
bhuain e gad, 's cheanghail e air an Ikmh, 's an cridhe, 's an ceann. 

" Co'ca 's fhèarr leatsa fan tail an seo, air an eilean seo leat fhèin, 
na falbh leansa," ors' e ris an lonmhuinn. 

** 'S fhèarr leamsa folbh leat fhèin, na le fir na h-hir tbalmhanta 
gu Mir," ors' an lonmhuinn. 

Thog e leis i air fras-mhullach a ghuailne 's air uallach a dhroma 
's ghabh e gus an teine. Leum e thairis 'san lonmhuinn air a mhnin. 
Faicidh e Ridire 'Chiiim 's Ridire 'Chlaidhimh a' tighinn 'nachomh- 
dhail, 's boila's buaireas 'nan 'sùilean. 

**D4 'n gaisgeach mòr," ars' àdsan, *<a bha as do dheagbainn 
an siod, 's a thill nur a chunnaic e ar leithidnean do dha gbaisgeach 
a* tighinn." 



" Seo doibhsè/' ors' esan, ^'an lonmhuinn mhnatha seo, agos tri 
fiaclan bhar u-athar, agos ceann, agus làmh, agus cridhe an fhir a 
bhaail an dorn air. Deanaibh fuireach beag, 's tillidh miae, 's cha 'n 
'fhàg mi faigheall sgeoil anns an eilean.** 

Ghabhfb air falbh air ais, 's an ceann treis, thug e sùil as a dhèigh, 
's faicear àdsan agus a* Bhreacach a' deanadfafalach caain air. 

** Alarbh-phaisg oirbh fèin," ors* esan ; *' sian fala ma'r siiilean ; 
manadli 'ur crochaidh oirbh ! m' fhagail an eileau learn fh^in, gun 
duine 'shiol Adhaimh ann, 's gun fhios'am a nochd d^ 'ni mL" 

Ghabh e air aghaidh feadh an eilean, 's cha robh e 'faicinn taigh 
na thrais an kite 'sam bith» iseal na ard. Ma dheireadh chunnaic e 
seana chaisteal an iochar an eilean, 's ghabh e a 'ionnsuidh. Chunn- 
aic e tri bganaich a' tighinn gu trom, airtnealach, sgith thun a* 
chaisteil. Labhair e dhaibh ann am briathra fisneacha, foisneacha, 
fiorghlic fior<eolais. Labhair àdsan an comain nam briathra ciadhna. 
Thainig ad ann am briathra seanachais air a chèile ; 's co 'bha 'seo 
ach a ttiriuir dhearbh chomhdhaltan. Ghabh ad a staigh an deagh 
thoil-inntinn air a' mhòr-bhaile. 

Thog ad ceòl 's leag ad bròn 

Bha deochanna mine, meisgeach, 

'6 deochanna garga, gachannach, 

Beatbanna saora, socharach, 

Eadar e fh^in 's a chomhdhaltan ; 

Ceòl eadar fhidhlean leis an^caidleadh fir ghointe 's mnathan 

siublila ; 
Searganaich a' sior ghabhail le farum a chiuil 8ean> 
A bha shiorrachd gu eàor-bhinn an oidhche sean. 

Ghaidh ad a laidhe. Anus a* mhaidinn an la'r na mhàireach dU' 
èiridh e ann an deagh thoil-inntinn 's ghabh e 'bhiadh. Dè 'chual e 
ach gliogarsaich arm 's daoine 'dol 'nan eideadh. Co 'bha. 'so ach a 

" Ca' bheil sibh a' dol ? " ars' esan riu. 

" Tha sinn cheann la a's bliadhna 'san eilean seo,** ors' àdsan, 
" a' cnmail cogaidh ri Mac Dorcha, Mac Doilleir, 's ciad sluaigh aige, 
's a' h-uile h-aon mharbh as sinn an diugh bidh e beo am màireacb. 
Tha 'gheasan oimn nach fhaod sinn seo fhagail gu bràch gus am 
marbh sinn ad." 

** Th^id mise leibh an diugh ; 's fhèairde sibh mi/' ors' esan. 

** Tha 'gheasan oirnn," ors' adsan^ "nach fbaodduin'a dhol leinn, 
mar an d' thèid e ann leis fh^in." 


Fanadh sibhse staigh an dingh, 's thèid mis* ann learn fh^," ors* 

Thog e air falbh 's dh' amais e air slnagh Mhic Dorcha Mhic 
Doilleir, 's cha d' fhkg e ceann air colainn aca. Dli' amais e air 
Mac Dorcha Mac Doilleir fhèìu, 's thuirt Mac Dorcha Mftc Doilleir 
ris, " An tu 'seoa Ghaisgich na Sgiatha deirge." 

" 'S mi," orsa Gaisgeach na Sgiatha deirge. 

" Mata/* orsa Mac Dorcha Mac Doilleir, '* cha 'n fhada sheasas 
thu dhomhsa.*' 

An caraibh a ch^ile ghabh ad, 's bha ad a' cruaidh leadairt a 
chèile gus an robh beul an ath-dhath 's an anmoich ann. Mu dheir- 
eadh thug Ridire na Sgiatha deirge an togail bheag, sbunndach, 
shoilleir nd air Mac Dorcha Mac Doilleir, 's chnir e foidhe e, 'a thilg 
e dheth an ceann. Bha *n seo Mac Dorcha Mac Doilleir marbh, 
's a thri niic dheug, 's oomhrag ceud air IMmh gach fir dhia. Bha 
eisean, an seo, air a mhilleadh *s air a reabadh cho mòr 's nach 
V nrrainn e *n àrach fhàgail, 's cha d* rinn e ach e fh^in a leigeil 
'na laidhe 'meaag nam marbh fad an latha. Bha tràigh mhòr fodha 
gu h-iseal; *8 d^ 'chual e ach an fhairge 'tighinn 'na caora teine 
tein teach, — *na nathair bheumannach, — 'na tarbh truid. Dh* amhairc 
e uaidhe 's de chunnaic e 'tighinn air tir air meudhon na tràgha ach 
cailleach mhòr fhiaclach nach facas riabh a leithid. Bha 'n fhiacaill 
a b' fhaide 'na bata 'na dorn, 's an tè bn ghiorra 'na dealg 'n h-uchd. 

Ghabh i nios gus an àraich, 's bha dithisd eadar i agus esan. 
Cliuir i 'meur 'nam heal 's thug i beo ad, 's dh' èiridh ad suas slàn 
mur a b' fhèarr a bha ad riabh. Rainig i eisean, 's chnir i 'meur 'na 
bheul, agus sgath e dhith o'n alt i. Bhuail i buille de bhàrr a cois' 
air agus thilg i thar seachd iomairean e. ''A bheadagain," ors' ise, 
" 's tu fear ma dheireadh a dh' ath-bheothaicheas mi 'san èuraich " 

Ghrom a' chailleach air fear eile 's bha eisean an taobh shuas dith. 
Cha robh f hios aige d4 mur a chuireadh e as do 'u chaillich. Smaoint- 
ich e air an t-sleagh ghèarr a bh' aig a mac a thilgeil urra 'a na 'n 
tuiteadh an ceann dith gum bu mhath. Thilg e'n t-sleagh 's chuir 
e'n ceann de 'n chaillich. Bha e'n seo 'na shineadh air an àraich ; 
full, a's fèìthean, a's feoil air an dochann, ach gun robh cnàmhan 
fliàn aige, Vè 'mhotbaich e ach craitire ciuil feadh na h-krach. 

" D^ 'tha thu 'g iarraidh?" ors' e ris a' chruitire. 

'* Tha mi cinnteach gn 'bheil n sgith," ors' an craitire. 

''Thig a nios 's cuir do cheann air an tulmsaig seo, 's dean 

Gbaidh e suas 's laidh e. Tharminn e sieann a* leigeil air gu'n 
robh e na chadal. Air a bhonn a bha e gu brisg, ealamb, èaagmidb. 


" Tha thu bruadar," ors' an cruitear ris. 

** Tha," ors' eisean. 

** D^ 'chunnaic thu ?" ors' an cruitear. 

** Cniitire ciuil," ors' eisean, "a' tarrainn seana chlaidheamh 
meirgeacU an los an ceann a thoirt diom." 

Rug e'n seo air a' chruitire chiuil, 's chuir e'n ionachainn 'na 
cùibeanan teine trid chtil a chinn. Bha e'n seo fo gheasan nach 
marbhadh e cruitire ciuil gu brathach ach le a chruit fh^in. 

Chuail e, 'n seo, caoineadh feadh na h-àraich. 

"Co siod?" ors' eisean. 

** Tha 'n seo do thriuir dhearbh-chomhdhaltan ga t' iarraidh o 
kite gn h-kite an diugh," ors' àdsan. 

" Tha mise am shineadh an seo," ors' eisean, " 's fuil, a's fèithean, 
a's cnàmhan air an dochann." 

*' Na'm biodh againn an stbpan ioc-shlaint a th' aig a chaillich 
mhòìr, mkthhair Mhic Dorcha Mhic Doilleir cha b' fhada 'bhltheam- 
aid gad' leigheas," ors' hdsan. 

" Tha i ih^in marbh shuas an sean," ors' eisean, ** 's cha 'n 'eil ni 
aice nach fhaod sibh fliaotainn." 

** Tha sinne as a geasan gu brathach," ors* àdsan. 

Thug ad a nuas an stbpan ioc-shlaint, 's nigh agus dh' fhailc ad e 
leis an rud a bh' anns' an stop. Dh* eiridh e, *n scan, suas cho slàn, 
fallan 's a bha e riabh. Chaidh e dachaidh leo, 's chuir ad an oidhche 
seachad ann an deagh thoil-inutinn. 

Chaidh ad a mach an la'r na mhàireach ann an deogh thoil-innt- 
inn a dh' ioroain. Chaidh eisean ris an triuir, 's chuireadh e leath- 
bhàir, 8Ì0S, 's leath-bhair suas, a staigh orra. Mhothaich ad do 
Mhacabh mòr Mhacaibh an Domhain a* tighinn do'n bhaile. B'e seo 
an dearbh-chomhdhalta.cuideachd. Chaidh ad a raach far an robh 
e 's tbuirt ad ris. 

** Fhir mo ghaoil seachainn sinne 's am baile an diugh." 

** Gu-de 's coireach ? " ors' eisean. 

** Tha Gaisgeach na Sgiatha deirge staigh, agus 's tu a tha e *g 
iarraidh,** ors' adsan. 

** Folbhadh sibhse dachaidh, *s abraibh ris falbh agus teicheadh, 
air-neo gu'n d' thoir mis* an ceann deth," orsa Macabh mòr Mhacaibh 
an Domhain. 

Gad a bha seo uaigneach mhothaich Gaisgeach na Sgiatha deirge 
dha, 's chaidh e mach air an taobh eile de 'n taigh, agus bhuail e 
beum-sg^the, agus fad comhraig. Ghabh an gaisgeach mbr a mach 
as a dhèigh. Thòisich ad air a chèile. 


Cha robh cleas a dhèante le sgitbich i^ le sgothaich, 

Na le disnein ghillean-feall, 

Na le organ nam manach, 

Nach dèanadh na gaisgich ; 

Mar a bha cleas a' chleiteam, cleas an òigeam, 

Ubhal a' chleasaiche 'ga thilgeil 's 'ga cheapail 

An uchdannaibh a cheil. 

Gu dèisinneach, dàsonnacb, 

Fuilteach, cneadhacb, creucbdanta. 

Toil-inntinn I toil-eadraiginn ! 

Chuireadh ad trl ditbeannan dearga teine d' an armaibh 

A cailceadb, d' an sgiathan, fal' agus feòla 

De 'n cneas agus de 'n caoimh-cbolainn, 

'S ad a' cruaidb leadairt a cbèile. 

*' Nacb amaideacb tbosa 'Gbaisgich na Sgiatha deirge, nur a tha 
tbu 'cumail gleicbd na cmaidb cbombraig riumsa,^ arsa Macabh 
Mbacaibb an Dombain. 

*' De mar seo?" orsa Gaisgeacb na Sgiatba deirge. 

^* Tba nacb 'eil gaisgeacb anns an domban mbòr a mbarbbas mise 
gas am boailear